A Marine fatally shot by Palm Springs police when he allegedly drove into an officer during a confrontation in a parking garage was identified today as a 22-year-old San Jose man.
Cpl. Allan Devillena II allegedly refused to turn off his car and was shot when he tried to drive off and struck one of two officers trying to detain him, according to Palm Springs police. The shooting happened about 2 a.m. Saturday in the parking garage at 275 S. Indian Canyon Drive.
Devillena was attached to Camp Pendleton's 1st Marine Logistics Group and stationed at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, public affairs officer 2nd Lt. Savannah Moyer said.
Palm Springs Police Chief Al Franz said Devillena refused an order to turn off his car and stop it as a police officer was leaning in the passenger- door window of the black Chrysler 300 Devillena was driving.
"First, let me say this -- this is a tragic incident for everyone involved," Franz said.
Franz said the two bicycle-mounted officers saw one of the men walking toward the Chrysler and recognized him and the driver from an earlier public intoxication incident, which had been resolved.
"The two men began yelling derogatory comments at the officers, the officers dismounted from their bicycles and approached," Franz said.
"One officer asked the suspect to turn off the car. The suspect ignored the officer's orders and began turning the vehicle around" inside the parking garage, Franz said.
"The officer repeatedly ordered the suspect to stop the vehicle but he refused to do so," Franz said.
"One of the officers climbed partially though the passenger's side window, attempting to stop the vehicle.
"The suspect accelerated directly toward the second officer, striking him, and continued on with the initial officer suspended from the passenger- side window," Franz said.
The car crashed near the garage exit onto Indian Canyon, Franz said.
At some point, the officers opened fire to protect themselves and others, Franz said.
DeVillena died at the scene. The passenger, who was uninjured, was arrested for a on local warrant and for public drunkenness, cited and released, Franz said.
Both officers, each of whom has 4 1/2 years with the department, were treated for minor injuries. Both are on administrative leave, pending the outcome of a use-of-force investigation.
The police department initially reported that the bicycle officers saw a fight break out in the parking structure as they approached the Chrysler.
Franz said that around the same time, a man told police his wallet and iPhone had been stolen in the downtown area.
An iPhone app tracked the phone to the area of the Chrysler, and officers heard the phone ringing in the car. The man's identification and automated teller machine card were allegedly found in the driver's pants pocket, Franz said. The investigation into that theft also was ongoing.
Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet said today the city "is deeply saddened by the loss of United States Marine Cpl. Allan Devillena."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals, families and loved ones of everyone involved in this tragic incident," Pougnet said.
The District Attorney's Office is conducting an independent investigation into the shooting. The investigative team is "committed to conducting a complete and thorough investigation and continues to ask for the community's patience during this time," Pougnet said.
Moyer said the Marine Corps was also cooperating with the investigation.
Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call the Palm Springs Police Department at (760) 323-8116.