Santa Barbara County District Attorney Says Use of Deadly Force in Officer Covarrubias Shooting was Justified
A shooting in which Santa Maria Police Officer Albert Covarrubias Junior was killed by a fellow Police Officer was legally justified. That was the finding by Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley on Tuesday following the January 28th incident, when Police Supervisors were trying to arrest Covarrubias at a DUI checkpoint where he was working, for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17 year old female who was part of the Police Explorer program. There was a struggle and Covarrubias drew his weapon and fired once, while fellow Police Officer and close friend Matt Klinea fired three rounds, two of which contributed to fatal injuries to Covarrubias.
The report did not review procedures used by the Santa Maria Police Department regarding how they attempted to arrest Covarrubias. The report can be viewed online at www.countyofsb.org/da/
Meanwhile, Santa Maria City Manager Rick Haydon says an ongoing administrative review of the incident continues by outside independent investigators. Haydon urges the public to be patient until all of the investigations are completed.