Eighteen-year-old Mona Rodriguez, who was shot at the back of her head on Wednesday by a school safety officer is to be removed from life support. The young mother of a 5-month-old baby will also have her organs donated to charity, her family members said. The teenager was shot by Eddit F. Gonzalez after she was involved in a fight with a 15-year-old girl, the LA Times reports.
According to eyewitnesses, Rodriguez got into a fight with the 15-year-old teen in a parking lot close to Millikan High School. The Long Beach Police Department spokesperson, Arantxa Chavarria, said Rodriguez got into a car that began to drive away when Gonzalez began shooting at the car, with one bullet hitting Rodriguez from behind.
Rafeul Chowdhury, Rodriguez’s 20-year-old partner, drove the car when the incident happened. He said his 16-year-old brother, Shahriear Chowdhury, was seated in the back of the seat when the shots began to hit the car.
During a media conference outside Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where Rodriguez’s family members had gone to bid her farewell, the family said the life support will be disconnected within the next 24-72 hours after her organs are harvested. The family demanded that Gonzalez must be charged for the murder of Rodriguez and the careless endangerment of other participants of the car.
The family’s lawyer, Luis Carrillo, wrote to California Attorney General Rob Bonta to investigate the shooting and bring Gonzalez to justice. He added that the school safety officer applied excessive use of force when it was not necessary and when Gonzalez did not pose any dangers to him given that her car was already driving away when he shot her.
He said the shooter must be criminally charged for murder and manslaughter.
“This officer had no business carrying a badge and gun,” Carrillo said at Friday’s news conference. “She was no imminent threat when this criminal officer went boom!”
Several law enforcement experts reviewed the videos of the shooting and revealed that Gonzalez ought not to have shot at the car at all. They all agreed that the shooting was unjustified and that he did not follow standard police procedure. The experts noted that Gonzalez ought to know that shooting at a moving vehicle is discouraged and that that endangers the other occupants in the car.
Los Angeles community organizer Cliff Smith said a rally will be planned on Sunday to mourn Rodriguez, and that the authorities should arrest and detain Gonzalez for her death.
“To us, it’s evident that there was no justification for the lethal use of force, and the safety officer committed a crime,” Smith said. “And not only killed Mona, but endangered many other people. The district attorney, George Gascon, replaced the incumbent district attorney last year on a campaign specifically about holding police officers accountable for these types of crimes—and he hasn’t yet prosecuted any police officers himself.”