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DA: Santa Maria, CA, officer justified in shooting

DA: Santa Maria, Calif., officer justified in shooting of fellow police officer during arrest By The Associated Press

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) ' Santa Barbara County prosecutors have announced that a Santa Maria police officer was justified in killing a fellow officer when authorities moved in to arrest him on teen sex charges.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Tuesday that the fatal shooting of Officer Alberto Covarrubias Jr. in January was lawful.

Covarrubias was ending his shift at a DUI checkpoint when he was shot in a scuffle as detectives moved in to arrest him on charges of having sex with a 17-year-old girl. The teen was a member of the department's Police Explorer program.

The Office of Independent Review, a Los Angeles County law enforcement watchdog, is also conducting a review of Santa Maria's police procedures. It's not known when the agency will finish its review.

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