DA: Santa Maria, CA, officer justified in shooting

AP News
Posted: Jun 19, 2012 4:58 PM

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — A Santa Maria police officer was justified in killing a fellow officer when authorities moved in to arrest him on teen sex charges, Santa Barbara County prosecutors said Tuesday.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley said that the fatal shooting of Officer Alberto Covarrubias Jr. in January was lawful.

Covarrubias, 29, was ending his shift at a DUI checkpoint when he was shot in a scuffle as detectives moved in to arrest him on charges of having sex with a 17-year-old girl. The teen was a member of the department's Police Explorer program.

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The Office of Independent Review, a Los Angeles County law enforcement watchdog, is also conducting a review of Santa Maria's police procedures. It's not known when the agency will finish its review.