The marine was unarmed when the encounter with the police officer began at about 4:30 am in the parking lot of San Clemente high school. According to those who were close to him, the marine routinely took his daughters to the school in the morning to exercise and read the bible.
Depending on evidence revealed during the investigation of this incident, the marine’s daughters may be entitled to recovery for the wrongful death of their father. Wrongful death suits allow loved ones to recover when their loss was caused by someone else’s failure to exercise due care.
The deputy says he was doing paperwork when he noticed the marine’s SUV enter the parking lot at a high speed and crash through a locked gate. The marine then got out and walked onto the football field, at which point several officers had arrived and were monitoring the perimeter. It is unclear what exactly happen next, but initial reports indicate that the marine left the officers view for several minutes before reappearing and getting back in the car. Police say they were making commands to the marine that he was ignoring at the time he was shot.
The deputy that fired the shots has said that he feared for the safety of the children and wanted to stop the man from leaving with them. There is no evidence that drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident and the marine was not carrying a weapon. The deputy says that the marine was speaking to him at the time, but there is no information available at this time as to what he may have said.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Marine killed by O.C. deputy outside school wasn’t armed, sheriff says” Feb. 11, 2012.