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© Police Handout
Detained: Off-duty cop deputy Dayle Long, 42, allegedly shot Vanettes

Riverside County sheriff's deputy Dayle Long, 42, allegedly shot Samuel Vanettes, 36, three times leaving him to die on the floor of the bar in Murrieta, California.

An off-duty police officer has been charged with executing a man in a sports bar - after an argument over a game of darts.

Riverside County sheriff's deputy Dayle Long, 42, allegedly shot Samuel Vanettes, 36, three times, leaving him to die on the floor of the bar in Murrieta, California.

It is reported that Long, who had been drinking alone, struck up a conversation with Vanettes and his friends at Spelly's Bar and Grille before the shooting.

An altercation allegedly broke out after the police officer told one of the friends 'I'm better at darts than you are', Chris Hull, 39, told Patch.com.

'My buddy says, "Aw, you suck at darts". (The man) says, "That's why I'm a cop, I can do whatever I want to do".'

Hull said his friend asked; 'Really, you can do anything?'

The police officer then pulled out his gun, Hull claimed and after the group repeatedly asked him to put it away he 'pops three rounds into my friend Sam'.

The ten-year department veteran appeared at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley in a red prison uniform, on Friday charged with murder.

Vanettes, a gas station cashier, was trying to keep the peace in the bar when he was gunned down, John Hall, a spokesperson for the District Attorney's office, according to Patch.com report.

Long and another man were in an argument when Vanettes had stepped in to break up the fight.

'He came in to act as a peacemaker and ended up getting shot,' Hall said.

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© Daniel Lane/Patch.com
Fatal shooting: Samuel Vanettes, 36, was shot multiples time and died on the floor of Spelly's Bar and Grille in Murrieta, California

He added that the victim was unarmed and showing no aggressive behavior.

According to a family member of the victim, who spoke to the LA Times, Vanettes was at the bar with his sister, her boyfriend and another friend when he started playing darts with Long.

'They were getting along good,' the relative said Vanettes sister had told. 'When the cop started having more whiskey, he started getting belligerent.

'He lifted his shirt up and showed his gun. Sam was standing by the dartboard.

'He said, "You don't want to do this; you're a nice guy". And he shot him. That's what I'm told.'

If convicted, Long could face 50 years to life behind bars.