Manuela “Mona” Rodriguez was gunned down by a security guard at Millikan High School on September 27, after a physical altercation involving Rodriguez and a 15-year-old girl, according to the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
In a statement to CNN, the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), which is currently investigating, said that at approximately 3:12 p.m. on Monday, September 27, “LBPD officers responded to the area of Spring Street and Palo Verde Avenue regarding a gunshot. “
The school security guard had responded to an “off-campus” incident, Chris Eftychiou, director of public information for the Long Beach Unified School District, told CNN.
“The preliminary investigation revealed that the school security guard was driving when he observed a physical altercation between an 18-year-old suspect and a 15-year-old victim taking place on the street,” the statement read. the LBPD.
Police say Rodriguez and two others involved in the altercation then attempted to escape in a four-door sedan, when the school security officer approached the vehicle and shot him as he accelerated rapidly, hitting Rodriguez, who was in the front passenger seat. The other occupants of the car were a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old man, police said.
A spectator recorded an incident
Lawyers for Rodriguez’s family said the driver of the vehicle was Rodriguez’s partner and the father of his 5-month-old son, and the other passenger at the time of the incident was his teenage brother.
Video shot by a passer-by, obtained by CNN, shows the officer approaching the vehicle from the passenger side of the car and drawing his gun.
“I just want justice for my sister,” Rodriguez’s brother Iran Rodriguez said on Friday. “She didn’t deserve this, no one deserves this.”
The school security guard was hired by the school on January 10 this year and had “no disciplinary issues or complaints against him,” Eftychiou said.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, Eftychiou confirmed to CNN. Eftychiou said school security officers are employees of the district, not a police department. He added that school security officers undergo more than 600 hours of state-mandated peace officer training, and the officer was up to date on it, including semi-annual firearms training.
The city is heartbroken, says the mayor
Rodriguez’s family retained the services of lawyer Luis A. Carrillo to represent them. In a letter to California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Carrillo said the officer’s actions were “reckless” and that Rodriguez had been “wrongfully shot”.
“This officer had no justification for using lethal force against Ms. Rodriguez because Ms. Rodriguez did not pose an imminent threat to the officer when she was shot by the officer,” the letter said.
Rodriguez’s mother Manuela Sahagun told reporters at a vigil for her daughter on Wednesday that her heart was “broken” and that she did not want a mother to go through what she was going through.
Long Beach City Mayor Robert Garcia said in a tweet that the city was “heartbroken” by the tragic incident.
“The city is heartbroken by the gruesome and tragic shooting of Mona Rodriguez by a Long Beach School District security guard. We pray for her family. Although the officer was not a city employee, we are working with the LA County DA to investigate, ”Garcia said.
The reason for the altercation that led to the shooting is under investigation, the Long Beach Police Department confirmed to CNN. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will also conduct an independent investigation into the incident, LBPD said. The Long Beach Unified School District is working with the LBPD in this investigation.
Rodriguez was not enrolled as a high school student, Eftychiou told CNN. But Eftychiou said she was previously enrolled in another school in the district.
Rodriguez is currently at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and is expected to be disconnected from life support this weekend, his family announced Friday.
End of life protocol
Long Beach Medical Center told CNN it couldn’t comment on Rodriguez’s status under HIPAA regulations, but shared its end-of-life protocol for patients considered brain dead.
“When a patient is declared dead according to neurological criteria, it means that the patient has a complete and permanent loss of brain function. The condition is irreversible, with no possibility of recovery, and is most often due to an injury or a catastrophic event.
“Under California law, two physicians must independently perform their own examination of the patient and reach the same conclusion about loss of brain function to declare a patient dead based on neurological criteria. Following such a statement, the family is informed, and by law, provided a period of accommodation to allow the family to mourn and reunite their loved ones, ”he said.
Mona’s family said on Friday that her organs would be donated.
“Iran Rodriguez said at a press conference that his organs will be donated to those in need, according to his wishes,” according to a family statement shared by Carrillo.