Police defended in death of Marine

Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:16 PM   |   Comments

PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The police chief of Palm Springs, Calif., is defending officers who killed a Marine in a confrontation during which one officer was allegedly hit by a car.

Cpl. Allan DeVillena II died early Saturday during an incident with the officers at a downtown parking garage, The (Palm Springs) Desert Sun reported Monday.

DeVillena, 22, was shot after he struck one officer with his vehicle and with another officer was hanging halfway out the passenger window while reaching inside the vehicle in an attempt to turn it off, Police Chief Alberto Franz said at a Monday press conference.

A statement released by Franz said a stolen cellphone, an identification card and an ATM card were found in the vehicle.

Both officers fired at DeVillena, who had continued driving until he struck another vehicle, the police chief said.

A passenger, Pfc. Clint Harris, age unknown, was unharmed. He was arrested for public intoxication and an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and released. His age was not reported.

Both DeVillena and Harris were attached to the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton, but were stationed at Twentynine Palms.

Franz said the officers recognized the Marines from "an earlier interaction with the two involving public intoxication that had been successfully resolved without incident."

DeVillena's family members said his behavior as described by police was "extremely out of character" and vowed to have the police officers prosecuted.

Both police officers were treated for unspecified injuries at a local hospital. They were placed on administrative leave.

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