Long Beach School Cop Shot and Killed a Teen Mom - DMT NEWS

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Long Beach School Cop Shot and Killed a Teen Mom

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A Long Beach, California, school resource officer  fatally shoting an 18-year-old mother in the head as she fled a fight in her car. Now, two days after died, police are investigating the shooting as a homicide.

“Manuela ‘Mona’ Rodriguez, who was struck in the upper body in a shooting incident on September 27, 2021, succumbed to her injuries,” the Long Beach Police Department announced Thursday. “In light of this news, detectives are now investigating this matter as a homicide.”

The news comes just a day after the Long Beach Unified School District voted to fire safety officer Eddie Gonzalez for violating the district’s use-of-force policy of firing his weapon at a moving vehicle.

“We believe the decision to terminate this officer’s employment is warranted, justified and, quite frankly, the right thing to do,” district superintendent Jill Baker said after Wednesday’s vote.

Gonzalez was already on leave shortly after the incident took place last Monday.

Police say Gonzalez, who had been driving by in a patrol vehicle just moments before the shooting, noticed a fight happening a block away from Millikan High School where he worked. Rodriguez had been fighting an unidentified 15-year-old girl for reasons that are still not known.

Gonzalez stopped his car and decided to intervene in the brawl. As the officer approached, Rodriguez allegedly ran to the passenger side of a nearby gray sedan where Rafeul Chowdhury, the 20-year-old father of her five-month-old son sat, along with his 16-year-old brother. According to Shahriear Chowdhury, the younger brother, Gonzalez had threatened to use pepper spray on the two girls, after which they both dispersed.

As the trio drove away, officer Gonzalez pulled out his service weapon and fired his gun at the car. Though police haven’t specified how many shots were fired, social media video appears to show the officer firing two shots.

A bullet struck Rodriguez in the back of the head, according to eyewitnesses who spoke to local news affiliate KTLA5. She was taken to Long Beach Memorial Hospital where she arrived in critical condition. By Oct. 4, she was declared brain dead, according to statements by her family. They took the young mother off life support the next day.

Gonzalez allegedly never gave any additional orders after the two girls stopped fighting, Shahriear Chowdhury told KTLA5.

“All we did is just got in the car and left,” he told the news station last Wednesday. “He never told us to stop anytime soon, and the way he shot us, it wasn’t right.”

Rodriguez’s cousin Yessica Loza has now set up a GoFundMe to help raise money for the five-month-old child she leaves behind.

“She was smart, beautiful, loving and anyone who knew her knew how big her heart was, how full of life she was and how much she loved her family,” Loza wrote of Rodriguez on the GoFundMe page. “Most especially her son who was her entire life, pride and joy.”

While Gonzalez hasn’t been charged yet, well-established policies within the school district bar resource officers from firing at moving vehicles. 

Additional precedent also exists at the federal level, known as the “fleeing felon rule.” A police officer can only use deadly force to prevent the escape of a fleeing suspect if the officer has a good-faith belief that the person fleeing poses a significant threat or serious physical injury to the officer or others, according to the 1985 Supreme Court case Tennessee v. Garner. 



via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Trone Dowd, Khareem Sudlow