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Family Of Man Slain In Gardena Questions Why LA Sheriff's Deputy Opened Fire

A poster of Andres Guardado at Friday's news conference. (Frank Stoltze/LAist)
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Family and friends of an 18-year-old security guard fatally shot by an L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy in Gardena last night are questioning why the deputy opened fire.

It happened around 6 p.m. near an auto body shop where Andres Guardado worked security.

Sheriff’s officials say Guardado produced a handgun in view of deputies on patrol and ran away, and that after a brief chase, one of them opened fire.

They say he was not wearing a security uniform, that a handgun was recovered at the scene, and that it was not registered.

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According to an older sister, Jennifer, Guardado lived with her and their parents in Koreatown. She said he graduated last year from Belmont High School and that he wanted to attend nursing school.

“He was a loving man," she said. "He loved to go to school and work out. He was fit, healthy. This was an injustice.”

Guardado said she doesn’t believe her brother was armed and accused the deputy of shooting him in the back.

The coroner will conduct an autopsy; sheriff's investigators can place a hold on the results until their work is done, a process that could take months.

The deputies did not have body cams; the Sheriff's Department is the last large law enforcement agency in the U.S. that doesn't use them. That is set to change; the department is scheduled to outfit its first batch of deputies by October.

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