A school safety officer who shot a woman after she got into a fight with a teenage girl Monday near Millikan High School in Long Beach has been placed on paid administrative leave, authorities said Tuesday.
Officers responded to the report of a shooting at about 3:10 p.m. Monday in the area of Spring Street and Palo Verde Avenue, the Long Beach Police Department said in a statement.
The shooting involved a Long Beach Unified school safety officer who saw a physical altercation take place between an 18-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl in the street.
An 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old teenage boy were also involved in the assault, police said, but their level of participation remains under investigation.
“While the motive for the assault remains under investigation, detectives believe the suspect and victim are known to each other, and the 18-year-old female adult suspect initiated the assault,” the Police Department said in a statement. “When the female suspect, male adult, and male juvenile attempted to flee in a 4-door gray sedan, the school safety officer approached the vehicle, and the shooting occurred.”
Cellphone video shows a uniformed man opening fire on a sedan as it sped off from a parking area and nearly clipped him.
The woman who was shot was seated in the front passenger seat of the car.
She was taken to a local hospital where she was listed in critical condition.
She was identified by her family as “Mona” in a GoFundMe page, which also said she is a mother of a 5-month-old boy.
No other injuries were reported.
Officials told KTLA the officer involved in the shooting is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations.
“Our school safety officers are hired to protect the physical safety of our staff and students on and around campuses. 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,” Jill Baker, superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District said in a statement.
Long Beach police officers will be increasing patrols at Millikan High School to ensure student safety.
18-year-old shot by Long Beach school officer is brain dead, family says
The 18-year-old woman shot this week by a Long Beach school safety officer as the car she was in drove away is brain dead and not expected to survive, loved ones said Wednesday.
The hospital has told Mona Rodriguez’s family that she will be taken off life support in less than 24 hours, according the family’s attorneys.
Mona Rodriguez’s brother, Oscar Rodriguez, said the decision should be left to her family.
“They’re trying to take my sister away. At first they told me that I would be able to make the decision, and now they’re taking that away from me,” Rodriguez said.
The father of Mona Rodriguez’s 5-month-old child and the father’s brother, who were both in the car when Rodriguez was shot, stood alongside civil rights activist Najee Ali to demand justice in Monday’s shooting near Millikan High School.
Rodriguez is only on life support until all her family members can say their goodbyes, Ali said. “She’s on life support, but Mona is gone.”
Rafeul Chowdhury, her son’s father, said they’d been trying to have a child for some time.
“And now we do, and now she’s gone,” he said. “I just got to step up now and play the mother and the father role, and keep my son strong.”
Police say Rodriguez was involved in a fight with a 15-year-old girl in the street Monday afternoon, in the area of Spring Street and Palo Verde Avenue. Rodriguez was then shot as she left in a car with a 20-year-old man and 16-year-old boy, whose possible involvement in the fight authorities are investigating.
Cellphone video shows the officer opening fire on the sedan as it sped off from a parking area and nearly clipped him.
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.
“All we did is just got in the car and left,” he said. “He never told us to stop anytime soon, and the way he shot us, it wasn’t right.”
One of two bullets fired into the car struck Rodriguez in the back of her head, Ali said.
“There’s no excuse, no justification for this officer shooting in the rear passenger-side window of a car with a woman who’s unarmed. Everyone in the car was unarmed,” he said. “And the fact is, he shot at someone in the passenger seat with no regard for anyone’s life in the car.”
The school safety officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending further investigation, according to officials.
But loved ones are calling for the officer involved to be arrested and prosecuted. He has not been publicly identified.
“The only way we stop these safety officers from shooting unarmed people and killing them is by having them prosecuted and held accountable for what they’ve done wrong to members of the community,” Ali said.
Long Beach Unified Superintendent Jill Baker said the district’s school safety officers are “highly trained and held accountable to the established standards in their profession,” and the officer who shot Rodriguez will be judged against those standards as the shooting is probed.
More videos pertaining to this shooting in both links provided above.