LONG RANGE (CBSLA) – An 18-year-old woman who was shot dead by a school security officer near Millikan High School in Long Beach is brain dead, her family said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The family identified the woman as Mona Rodriguez, the mother of a 5 month old baby. Rodriguez is on life support and is unlikely to survive, his family say. She was not a student at school.
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“I just want justice for my daughter, my little mother, my love of my life who I will never be able to find again,” her boyfriend Rafeul Chowdhury said in tears. “I don’t know what to do with my 5 month old son.
Rodriguez was shot in the head by a public safety officer from the Long Beach Unified School District, after intervening in a fight between her and a 15-year-old girl outside of campus. The officer, who has not been identified, has been placed on paid leave as the Long Beach Police Department investigates what happened.
The officer was filmed firing two shots at a gray car as it sped along, its tires screeching, through the Palo Verde Avenue and East Spring Street neighborhood in the outside the school Monday afternoon. Student Aidan Altobello captured the video on his cell phone.
“I just saw two girls fight, and one got in the car, and that’s when they rushed over and the guy shot them,” he said.
One of the hits left a hole in the glass in the rear passenger seat of Chowdhury’s car. Rodriguez, who was sitting on the passenger side of her boyfriend’s car, was initially shot in the upper body.
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“One of the bullets went through the door, I could have been shot in the rib,” said Shahriear Chowdhury, who was sitting in the back passenger seat. “The other one went through the window where he had Mona.”
Investigators also determined that a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were also involved in the initial brawl, but their involvement is still under investigation, according to Long Beach Police.
The Long Beach Unified School District is investigating the officer’s conduct. In a statement, Superintendent Dr. Jill Baker said in part, “Our school security officers are hired to protect the physical security of our staff and students on and around campuses. They are highly qualified and held accountable for the standards set in their profession. These standards will be used to assess the incident that occurred yesterday.
No arrests were made.
The district employs 11 school security officers who undergo the same training in academies as police officers.
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The shooting is still under investigation by the Long Beach Police Department. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will also conduct an independent investigation into the incident.