- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - A federal judge has cleared the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office of wrongdoing in the fatal 2014 shooting of a car theft suspect.

Sheriff’s officials say they were notified Thursday that a U.S. District Court judge in Phoenix granted summary judgment in favor of the county, Sheriff Paul Babeu and Deputy Heath Rankin.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office cleared Rankin in the shooting in June 2014.

Manuel Longoria died after being shot twice by the deputy in Eloy on Jan. 14, 2014.

Investigators say the 40-year-old Longoria had stolen a car then led authorities on a 40-minute chase before he was stopped and surrounded by deputies and police with guns drawn.

They say he refused to surrender and the deputy thought Longoria had a gun when he fired the fatal shots.

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