California News

Dec 4, 2012 4:25 PM by The Associated Press

Coast Guardsman fired gun to avoid fatal crash

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A criminal complaint says the Coast Guard fired several gunshots from an inflatable boat before it was slammed by another vessel, killing an officer.

The criminal complaint filed against two Mexican nationals aboard the suspect vessel disclosed the gunshots and other measures taken by the crew to avoid getting hit early Sunday near the Channel Islands, about 180 miles northwest of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III died from head trauma after being struck by a propeller.

Using an inflatable boat, Horne and his team came within about 20 yards of the suspect vessel at 1:20 a.m. The Coast Guard boat flashed its blue lights and the crew ordered the suspects to stop before the other vessel gunned its engine, knocking Horne and a colleague into the water.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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