The fatal shooting of a Santa Maria (Calif.) Police officer by a fellow officer was lawful, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney has concluded.
In a report posted on her office's website, District Attorney Joyce Dudley exonerated Officer Matthew Kline, who fatally shot Officer Albert Covarrubias during a Jan. 28 struggle.
Santa Maria officers attempted to arrest Officer Covarrubias at a DUI checkpoint after an investigation revealed he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old police explorer.
Officer Covarrubias resisted, when two sergeants attempted to take him into custody at the checkpoint. As the sergeants approached, Officer Covarrubias backed away and drew his service weapon. He fired a single shot, as the sergeants tried to physically restrain him.
As Officer Kline approached, Sgt. Chris Nartatez yelled "Hey, help me! He's got a gun!" Officer Kline then fired three shots that struck Officer Covarrubias.
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