The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Tragic Details Revealed in Police Shooting of Santa Maria Officer

More details and allegations have been revealed in the police shooting of Santa Maria police officer Alberto Covarrubias Jr., painting a tragic and shocking picture of the officer’s final hours.

Covarrubias, a four-year police veteran, was shot and killed by police as they tried to arrest him while on duty at a DUI checkpoint. Initial reports stated that he was under suspicion for having a sexual relationship with a minor and that he was killed by a fellow police officer who was on duty with him. But further allegations and details reveal a more tragic picture of the fatal day.

The alleged victim is reportedly a 17-year-old girl who was a member of the department’s Police Explorer program, which allows young people interested in law enforcement to participate in police activities, according to the Associated Press.

After authorities discovered the relationship, they reportedly believed he was such a risk that they decided to set up a sting involving the girl to arrest him on sexual misconduct charges during his shift. However, the lieutenant in charge of the checkpoint allegedly informed all of the officers at the checkpoint that the girl was going to be pulled for a sting operation, alerting Covarrubias to the plan, according to the Associated Press.

When police moved in to arrest him later that night, Covarrubias allegedly attempted to draw his gun and fired several times. He then pointed the gun at Officer Matt Kline, reportedly also his best friend on the force and the best man at his wedding, who shot and killed Covarrubias.

With details and allegations slowly being released over the past few days, only more questions have sprung up. Many wonder why the police decided to arrest Covarrubias while he was on duty and armed, and how it ended in his death.

One lesson can be taken from the tragic experience, however. If you are under investigation by the police, do not try to resist arrest. It’s best to follow police orders calmly and wait to speak to an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney or public defender to discuss your defense. Resisting arrest can only lead to more charges or, at worst, harm to you or others.

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