Photo: Santa Barbara Independent
The Santa Maria (Calif.) Police officer who was fatally shot by fellow officers attempting to arrest him at a DUI checkpoint drew his weapon on two sergeants—his cousin and the best man in his wedding just three weeks earlier.
Other details emerged about the shooting in an Associated Press report about the department's attempt to arrest Officer Albert Covarrubias, Jr., on suspicion of having sex with a 17-year-old female Police Explorer. Officer Covarrubias, 29, had finished his shift working a DUI checkpoint when the shooting took place.
Veteran law enforcement officers, including PoliceMag.com's Patrol blogger Dean Scoville, have questioned the department's decision to take down Officer Covarrubias in public—the sergeants approached him at 1 a.m. Saturday at the end of his shift.
The female Police Explorer participated in the department's operation targeting Officer Covarrubias with a "pretext call" that allowed officers to hear him acknowledge the intimate relationship during a wiretap. In California, age of consent is 18, unless the two people are within three years of each other.
Taking Down One of Our Own