Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. Manuel Levi "Manny" Loggins Jr., who was fatally shot by an Orange County sheriff's deputy at San Clemente High School Feb. 7, was laid to rest today in his home state of Illinois.
Earlier this morning, the Loggins family held a private funeral at the Refuge Mission United Holy Church in Juliet. A memorial service had previously been held at Camp Pendleton, where Loggins was stationed and beloved.
After Loggins body arrived at Midway Airport in Chicago Wednesday, a Marine honor guard escorted him to a Joliet funeral home.
Condolences were posted today from friends and loved ones across the country on the "We Miss You Sgt. Manny Loggins" Facebook page. Desiree Lomack wrote:
Manny . . . such a sad day but beautiful at the same time knowing u are in such a spectacular place that you've always talked about . . . school is not the same without you . . . your seat will never be cold in the back of the class and we will push forward in your honor and memory.
Loggins was studying to become a nurse. In her remembrance, Tracy Bjekich brought up the officer shooting being investigated by the Orange County District Attorney's office:
Manny, today you will be laid to rest. I still can't believe that the person I knew is no longer with us. We lost touch as so many high school friends do, but that doesn't lesson the hurt of your untimely and unjust death. I still laugh when I think of you attempting to sing 311 "Down" (you would mumble the words till the chorus) and how you would sing "Long December" then look at me and say "I bet you actually like that song." You know what Manny? It is probably one of my favorite Counting Crow songs because of you :). I've thought of you often through the years. Where you were, what you were doing, how you were. It looks like you led a happy life and continued to be the same Manny I knew so many years ago. You popped into my thoughts just days before your death and I couldn't believe when I read on Omar's status what had happened. Rest in Peace my dear friend Manny. Pheobe and your babies now have an Angel to watch over them, though I know they would rather have you here. May God hold them close today and everyday. Till we meet again Manny Loggins!
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After an SUV carrying two of Loggins' four daughters crashed into a gate at the high school, where the family held early morning prayer walks, the Marine was shot and killed by Deputy Darren Sandberg, himself a Marine veteran.
In the face of shock and anger from the Camp Pendleton community--up to and including the base commandant, who described Loggins as a solid Marine, family man and Christian--the sheriff's department and deputy union issued statements saying Loggins had acted "irrationally," ignored orders not to get back behind the wheel of the SUV after exiting the vehicle and had to be taken out to protect his girls.
The Loggins family, which is not buying that explanation, has filed a legal claim against the County of Orange and is vowing to fight on with a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court.