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Calif. Cop Shot by Fellow Officers

January 29, 2012  | 

A Santa Maria (Calif.) Police officer under investigation for sexual misconduct with a minor was shot and killed by fellow officers Saturday as they tried to arrest him, reports the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

The officer, who has been identified as Albert Covarrubias Jr. by family members, was on duty at a DUI checkpoint along Broadway shortly after 1 a.m. when he was shot, Chief Danny Macagni said.

Officers were sent to arrest him but he resisted when they arrived, first putting up a physical fight, then pulling and firing his gun but hitting no one, Macagni said.

Tags: Officer Misconduct, Friendly Fire, Santa Maria (Calif.) PD


Comments (16)

Displaying 1 - 16 of 16

BWilliams @ 1/30/2012 6:06 PM

Curious as to the decision to arrest while he's on duty.

Sad situation for the department.

Clint @ 1/30/2012 6:31 PM

That was totally f***ed up. What a screwed up bunch....

Lt. Robert Tester @ 1/30/2012 6:36 PM

You Do Not arrest an officer on duty! Wonder who made that decision? Why not wait until the end of the shift and then arrest? Sounds like something else is involved here that we aren't privileged to, yet. I'm all in for doing the right thing by law, but I'm also all in for doing the right thing to be safe.

Dustin @ 1/30/2012 7:01 PM

We aren't getting something on this one...there must be more to
This story.

Erelevently yorz @ 1/30/2012 7:07 PM

Not only do I agree with all of the above but think for a second, he didn't have to get arrested per sea, they could've relieved him of duty had him report backup the station asked to go on administrative leave and them summonsed in to answer to his alleged misconduct. Done deal. Sounds to me like there's more we are not being told. One can almost say he may have been felt with accordingly almost maybe even set up. Idk I wasn't there but none of this sounds like the professional way of handling anything. And in the end the blame falls on the on duty CO not the chief,not the town,not California... The senior most Commanding officer in Charge on duty at that time is completely to blame. Should have been handled administratively not as an arrest while he was in full duty uniform.

gp cobb @ 1/30/2012 8:17 PM

You sidewalk lawyers and superintendents amaze me.

get serious @ 1/30/2012 8:22 PM

Cops get arrested all the time on duty.... What if they decided to wait, and the officer went to hr house and killed her. Then everyone can say, why didn't the police go arrest him before he went home if they knew he was posing a danger.

His on duty status is not the issue. If Internal Affairs shows up and says they are placing him under arrest, I don't think drawing your gun and firing is the appropriate answer.

The poice chief made a decision, and trust me when the truth comes out, the negative comments about the decision to arrest the officer before he went home will all make sense. I will bet money he was making serious threats to kill her... Keep in mind, he is 29 years old, just married. He knew his career was over, his marriage was over, and he made a stupid decision to resist arrest. The Santa Maria community should thank the chief for addressing this the way he did.

If he will shoot at fellow cops, you don't think he would shoot some 17 year old girl to keep her from destroying his life. Think about it.

DaveSAM25G @ 1/30/2012 10:23 PM

Rule number#1 if known you want the advantage on your side this was not unknown type action and that would come with an advantage to your side (Risk Assessment), weapons involved etc. How about a contained location and officer disarmed first? I think I will wait on more once investigation moves along but I do disagree with this in the story link "routine in police-involved shootings." no such thing like rountine patrol."

Sheriff John @ 1/30/2012 11:05 PM

The mission to apprehend this officer was a failure.

PC @ 1/31/2012 6:37 AM

There was a much better article written in the LA Times that gave a few more details. The Dept received information regarding the Officer's intimidating of the witnesses. You would have to trust that the Dept took the appropriate actions. The arresting Officers approached him at the end of his shift while he was dismantling the DUI check point. I don’t know how busy Santa Maria would be at 1 am but I think it would be a safe bet that there wouldn’t be much of a crowd around at that time. I would have to agree with “get serious” that there had to be a valid reason to get him into custody quickly. I am sure the arresting Officers approached him in a professional manner (arresting one of your own would not be an easy task) and that’s when Covarrubias lost it. My thoughts go out to Covarrubias’ family, the Santa Maria PD and the unfortunate Officer who had to the end the confrontation.

notmeofficer @ 1/31/2012 7:03 AM

Officer or no officer..tactics dictate actions. When you are dealing with an armed individual use every advantage you can.

Could have got him in the locker room or any other place where his guard was lower... could have called him to the sergeants office after shift on his way out.. or gas pumps.. or anywhere that control could be established.. you all know this.. we do it every day

Scott @ 1/31/2012 8:24 AM

Who ever chose to arrest him while on duty was looking for headlines. They jeopardized everyones safety resulting in the loss of a life. They go to arrest someone they know is armed in a public arena when no ones safety was in immediate danger. Should have waited to the end of his shift when he was unarmed, even if that meant waiting until he went home and changed. Bad decision.

Tim @ 1/31/2012 1:14 PM

This officer's actions show why he was a danger to the community. There was evidence he had committed a crime against a minor as well as intimidated a witness. It was his response to the arresting officers the dictated what happened to him. It is very sad what occurred here but it could have been avoided had Covarrubias submitted to being arrested as he should have. It makes no difference where or when it occurred. No matter when they contacted him he would likely have been armed.

getreal @ 1/31/2012 1:52 PM

anyone who agrees with arresting this officer while he is armed should probably go back to the academy for some retraining. Instead of gettingserious, you might want to get trained. I would be willing to bet you work some kind of admin job. Ironicaly there is also an article in here about the begining trial of an LAPD detective being tried for murder. Her arrest was a text book example of how to go about arresting an officer who is on duty. They told her they had a suspect she had been looking for in custory and they wanted her to interview him. after she secured her own weapon (as all officers must do before entering a jail facility) she stepped into the interview room unarmed, and was latter taken into custody w/o incident. This officer that was running a DUI check point, why not direct him to the jail facility, tell him they have a dui suspect for him to book. He locks up his own gun, back up weapon, knife, magazines, etc. Get the point guys?

kc @ 1/31/2012 2:49 PM

Not knowing all the details makes the decision to arrest an on duty officer hard to question. However, I wonder now what the result of an officer killed in the line of duty will mean to his family. He was being arrested for misconduct, but still on duty. I would think that would entitle his family to benefits normally only given to those officers who died in the line of duty honorably. And what could be worse than having the trauma of having to shoot one of your own.

John Russell @ 1/31/2012 7:06 PM

Way more to this story and too easy a way to handle this but no DEPT. knows it, so I cannot say but it's called assisination stand off......One CHIEF & 2 sniper rifles ---relinquish your weapon, belt, and badge and no cuffs at all needed OR ELSE?

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