Two Los Angeles police officers shot and killed 18-year-old Andres Guardado, a Latino, last Thursday.
Two Los Angeles police officers shot and killed 18-year-old Andres Guardado, a Latino, last Thursday. Now, the boy’s family is demanding truth in the case that raised more questions than answers.
Meanwhile, demonstrators have taken to the streets of Compton to seek justice for Andres Guardado. The death of the young man, Andres Guardado and the public response is the latest chapter in the current national movement to end police brutality.
Captain Kent Wegener of the LA County Sheriff’s Department gave a vivid account of the events at a press conference Saturday. He said he saw Andres Guardado in front of a business on West Redondo Beach Boulevard around 6 a.m. Thursday.
According to Wegener, the young man “looked at the deputies” and “made a handgun” before running into the driveway of the business. Following Cardado, two deputies found him in the back corner of the business, where an officer fired six rounds at 18. At least one bullet hit the cardo in the upper trunk. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The autopsy is pending.
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Investigators found a .40 calibre semiautomatic pistol in Cardado’s body at the scene. There was no serial number for the gun, and there was an illegal extended magazine loaded with 13 live rounds.
Although the Sheriff’s Office questioned whether the weapon was being used, Guardado’s family said the young man worked as a security guard. In California, you must be 21 years old to work as an armed security guard.
Also, Guardado did not wear a uniform or gun belt on the night of his death. As a result, the deputies concerned did not recognize him as a security guard at the scene.
But the conduct of the concerned authorities has also raised questions. Although the California regulations require police to produce body camera footage of any controversial contact, the two do not wear body cameras. Wegener said the department is looking at nearby surveillance footage to paint a clearer picture of the events.
Guardado’s family gathered outside an auto-boutique shop where the deceased was working, creating a temple with pictures and flowers. The teenage family from El Salvador decorated the area in blue and white, the colors of the country’s flag and the beloved LA Dodgers of Guardado.
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They talked about a boy who was “energetic” and “happy” and wanted to help his grandmother. Guardado was a student at Los Angeles Community College and trained as a car mechanic. Speaking at the shrine, her cousin Selena Abarca said, “We need answers.”
Meanwhile, demonstrators marched from Gardena to Compton Civic Center on Sunday to demand justice for Guardado. But demonstrators and police forces clashed quickly. A witness captured a video of someone throwing objects at deputies. The officers responded by throwing pepper balls. One protester, a Marine Corps veterinarian, said he was not violent toward the deputies, but was attacked in his temple, stomach and leg.
Earlier in the evening, the sheriff’s department declared it an illegal assembly and warned protesters that if they did not leave, they would be arrested. Authorities have arrested six people who did not quit on charges of resisting illegal assembly and arrests.
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LA County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff Alex Villanueva said his office is investigating the incident. “We’re going to work hard, do what we can. We’re going to be as open as we can,” the sheriff said.
What’s your say on this story: Andres Guardado shot and killed by two Los Angeles police officers.