The law firm representing the family of 18-year-old Manuela “Mona” Rodriguez, a woman shot in the back of the head by a Long Beach Unified School District school safety officer on Sept. 27 after an altercation near Millikan High School, is slated to hold a press conference in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday morning to demand that murder charges be filed against the officer.
Rodriguez’s family has retained attorney Luis A. Carrillo of South Pasadena to represent them. In a letter to California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Carrillo said that the officer’s actions were “reckless,” and that the officer “had no justification to use deadly force” against Rodriguez.” The family is asking Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón to file murder charges against the school resource officer that shot Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is expected to be removed from life support in the coming days after being declared brain dead, her family said at a news conference last Friday.
Rodriguez was shot by school safety officer Eddie Gonzales after a physical altercation involving Rodriguez and a 15-year-old girl, according to the Long Beach Police Department. In an attempt to flee, Rodriguez then “got into the passenger seat of a car with Rafeul Chowdhury, her 20-year-old boyfriend who is the father of her 5-month-old son, as well as Chowdhury’s 16-year-old brother,” according to People.
Gonzales then approached the vehicle on the passenger side and shot at it as it accelerated quickly, hitting Rodriguez who was in the front passenger seat.
According to KTLA, “Chowdhury said the officer had warned Rodriguez and the girl he would pepper spray them if they didn’t stop fighting. But he says they did stop, and the officer made no further warnings before opening fire.”
Gonzales, who is not a sworn officer of the Long Beach Police Department, has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
The family plans to donate Rodriguez’s organs.
Long Beach City Mayor Robert Garcia tweeted that the city was “heartbroken over the horrific and tragic shooting” and that, though Gonzales is not a city employee, it is working with the district attorney to investigate.