Mon. May 20th, 2024

The family of a woman who was shot by a school safety officer in Long Beach, California said Wednesday they do not expect the 18-year-old mother to survive.

Mona Rodriguez was in the front passenger seat of a sedan Monday afternoon in a parking lot near Millikan High School when she was shot by the school safety officer. The officer responded to the off-campus parking lot after witnessing a fight in the street involving Rodriguez and others, police said.

Video showed the officer approach the passenger side of the Infiniti sedan as it sped away. A bullet hole could be seen in the car’s passenger-side rear window.

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Family members and Rodriguez’s boyfriend, the father of her 5-month-old boy, spoke at a Wednesday news conference outside Long Beach Memorial Care Hospital. Rodriguez is on life support at the hospital, family members said.

“I want justice for my girl, my baby momma, the love of my life,’’ Rafeul Chowdhury said. “She did not deserve it. I can’t even sleep through the nights. I’m going crazy for myself, you know. I’m used to seeing her 24-7.”

Relatives said Wednesday Rodriguez is brain dead and will not survive, although she remained on life support.

Long Beach police and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office are both investigating the shooting. The school safety officer who fired the shots has been placed on leave.

No students were injured in the shooting.

Details about the dispute that prompted the school safety officer’s response were not immediately available. The location is about a block from the high school.

“The school safety officer approached a group of individuals to investigate an altercation, and during the course of that investigation, the school safety officer discharged their duty weapon and an individual was struck by gunfire,” a Long Beach Unified School District statement said.

Long Beach police said they responded to the scene in response to a reported shooting, and officers found the wounded woman. Police said she had been shot in the upper body, but her family said she was shot in the head.

According to police, the unidentified LBUSD school safety officer was driving in the area when he observed the woman involved in an altercation with a 15-year-old girl in the street. Investigators also determined an 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were involved in the dispute, though their level of involvement was not immediately known.

When the woman, the man and the boy attempted to leave the scene in a vehicle, the school safety officer approached the car and fired into the vehicle as the driver was pulling away, striking the woman inside.

Video of the shooting posted online appears to show the unidentified officer firing at least two shots at the car.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born |