UPDATE: Woman Shot By Long Beach SSO Has Died
The woman was shot as the car she was in sped away after an altercation near the Long Beach campus.
UPDATE Oct. 11
The 18-year-old woman who was gravely injured after being shot by a Long Beach school safety officer has died.
Mona Rodriguez was taken off life support Tuesday after the injuries she sustained in the shooting left her brain dead. Five lives were saved because she was an organ donor, according to her family. The incident is now being investigated as a homicide by the Long Beach Police.
Eddie Gonzalez, Long Beach Unified School District safety officer who shot her, has been terminated.
LONG BEACH, Calif. — An investigation is underway after a Millikan High School safety officer critically wounded an 18-year-old woman Monday after shooting her in a vehicle.
The woman, identified as Mona Rodriguez, is not expected to survive, reports MSN. Her family said she would be taken off life support after her body is prepared for organ donation.
The unidentified Long Beach Unified School District public safety officer reportedly responded to an altercation between Rodriguez and a 15-year-old Millikan student around 3:10 p.m. in the area of Palo Verde Avenue and East Spring Street, located about a block from the school. Rodriguez is not a student at the school.
When the woman jumped into the passenger seat of a car and its driver sped away, the officer fired two shots into the vehicle. Cell phone video captured the incident.
“I just saw two girls fighting, and one got in the car, and that’s when they scurried off and the dude shot at them,” said student Aidan Altobello, who took the video.
The woman was struck in the upper body and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Investigators determined a 20-year-old man and 16-year-old boy were also involved in the initial fight but their involvement remains under investigation.
“I just want justice for my girl, my baby mama, my love of my life that I can’t get back ever again,” said boyfriend Rafeul Chowdhury, who has a 5-month-old child with Rodriguez.
Long Beach Police are investigating the incident and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will conduct an independent investigation.
The officer has been placed on paid leave and the Long Beach Unified School District is investigating the officer’s actions.
“Our school safety officers are hired to protect the physical safety of our staff and students on and around campuses,” Superintendent Dr. Jill Baker said in a statement. “They are highly trained and held accountable to the established standards in their profession. Those standards will be used to assess the incident that occurred yesterday.”
Long Beach has 11 school safety officers who complete a standardized 664-hour Peace Officers Standards Basic Academy, according to LAist. While the district’s safety officers wear a uniform and carry a firearm, they are not sworn peace officers and are not required to have previous law enforcement experience.