Long Beach

School Safety Officer Accused of Shooting 18-Year-Old Mona Rodriguez in Long Beach Was Fired

The officer accused of shooting Mona Rodriguez, 18, Sept. 27 near the Millikan High School campus has been fired from the school district.

Mona Rodriguez, an 18-year-old mother, was shot and killed by a school safety officer in Long Beach.
Family Photo

An 18-year-old woman who was shot by a Long Beach Unified School District safety officer in September was removed from life support Tuesday, according to a family attorney. 

Mona Rodriguez, the mother of a 5-month-old boy, donated organs that attorney Luis Carrillo said will go to five people. Rodriguez donated her heart, lungs, liver and both kidneys, Carrillo said.

Rodriguez had been on life support at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center since the Sept. 27 shooting in a parking lot near the Millikan High School campus. She was in the passenger seat of a car when she was shot by the school safety officer, who had stopped to investigate a dispute in which Rodriguez was involved. 

Doctors and nurses at the hospital gave Rodriguez a hero's celebration in the hallways as she was taken to the operating room while her favorite song, “Letter To My Son,'' by Skeezy played, Carrillo said in a statement.

Rodriguez stopped breathing at 5:14 p.m. Tuesday, according to Carrillo.

Another family is going to get another fighting chance, a chance that we didn't get.

Brother Oscar Rodriguez

Brother Oscar Rodriguez said his sister is "going to give life to about eight people, I believe, another chance, another family is going to get another fighting chance, a chance that we didn't get.''

Earlier Tuesday, family members called for charges against the school safety officer. 

The Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office have been investigating the shooting. The school safety officer who fired the shots, Eddie Gonzalez, was fired Wednesday, according to the district.

The Long Beach Unified School District said the officer's conduct violated district policy, and his termination was the "right thing to do." The district also sent condolences to the family of Mona Rodriguez.

The district went on to say the use of force policy dictates that an officer will not fire on a fleeing person, nor fire into a vehicle, and that using a weapon should be a last line of defense.

The brothers of 18-year-old Mona Rodriguez, who was shot in the head by a Long Beach Unified School District safety officer, joined the family's attorneys in calling on Los Angeles County's top prosecutor to file a criminal case against the officer.

Long Beach police said they responded to the scene in response to a reported shooting, and officers found Rodriguez inside a car with at least one gunshot wound. 

Relatives said she was shot in the head.

According to police, the school safety officer was driving in the area near Millikan High School when he observed Rodriguez involved in an altercation with a 15-year-old girl in the street. Investigators determined that a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were also involved in the dispute.

When Rodriguez, the man and the boy attempted to leave the scene in a car, the school safety officer approached the car and fired into the vehicle as the driver was pulling away, striking Rodriguez inside, police said.

Video of the shooting posted online appeared to show the officer, whose name was not released by police, firing at least two shots through a passenger-side window into the car.  

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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