Cop Suspected in Sex Crime Dies in Shootout

California cops suspected him of sexual misconduct with teenager
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2012 1:38 PM CST
Cop Suspected in Sex Crime Dies in Shootout
Police in Santa Maria, Calif., gunned down a fellow officer early yesterday morning.   (Shutterstock)

A California policeman yesterday shot and killed a fellow officer suspected of sexual misconduct, the AP reports. Police in Santa Maria learned of his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl and confronted him in the wee hours yesterday morning on duty at a DUI checkpoint. The officer resisted arrest and fired his gun—at which point an 8-year veteran on the force shot him once in the chest. The officer later died on the operating table.

The leader of a Latino civil rights group is asking whether police should have attempted the impromptu arrest in public, the Santa Maria Times reports. “How well trained are they to respond to these crises?” he asked. But police chief Danny Macagni says there was no outside agency to call at one in the morning, and cited evidence "that demanded that we go out and take this officer off the street immediately." The dead officer, however, won't be honored in the usual police fashion because “that would be totally hypocritical on my part.” A small memorial with a candle and balloon has been placed near the shooting. (Read more arrest stories.)

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