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Long Beach school officer who fatally shot 18-year-old woman charged with murder – Daily News

The school safety officer who fatally shot an 18-year-old woman in Long Beach a month ago was charged with murder on Wednesday, Oct. 27, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said.

Manuela “Mona” Rodriguez, of Long Beach was shot in the head by the safety officer, Eddie F. Gonzalez, on the afternoon of Sept. 27 about a block from Millikan High School, authorities said.

Gonzalez, 51, was arrested by homicide detectives in Orange on Wednesday, Long Beach police Chief Robert Luna said.

Gonzalez was charged with first-degree murder, Gascón said. While that implies premeditation, Gascón said he would not go into details as to why Gonzalez was facing that specific charge.

“It’s complex, because there were many witnesses, many videos,” Gascón said. “But the videos only tell a part of the story so we have to go beyond that, that’s the work the Long Beach Police Department did.”

Rodriguez was in the front passenger seat of a moving car when shot in a parking lot at Spring Street and Palo Verde Avenue.

A week after the shooting, Gonzalez was fired from the Long Beach Unified School District. An internal review showed there were areas that Gonzalez violated district policy, schools Superintendent Jill Baker said at the time.

The school district’s use of force policy says that school safety officers — who are not sworn police officers nor employees of the Police Department — are not supposed to fire at a moving vehicle.

The shooting sparked protests calling for charges to be brought to Gonzalez. Rodriguez’s family also called for justice.

“This really impacted our community heavily, the city of Long Beach, our community, our school district — our partners we work with every day,” Luna said. “This is just a step in trying to bring some closure to this very unfortunate and impactful incident, not only to our city but the Rodriguez family.”

Rodriguez was the mother of a 5-month-old son. She was declared brain dead by doctors after the shooting, then died after taken off of life support on Oct. 5.

She was in the car with her boyfriend and the child’s father, Rafeul Chowdhury, who was driving and his 16-year-old brother, who was in the backseat.

The car had left the scene of a fight that Rodriguez was in with a 15-year-old girl, when Gonzalez approached them. As the car lurched away, Gonzalez fired two shots.

In addition to the District Attorney’s Office, Long Beach police have been investigating the case.

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