Long Beach Unified Fires School Safety Officer Who Fatally Shot Young Woman
The Long Beach Unified School District has fired a school safety officer involved in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old woman.
The decision came down days after school safety officer Eddie Gonzalez opened fire on Mona Rodriguez near Millikan High School, hitting her in the head and leaving her brain dead. Her family recently took her off life support.
Detectives are now investigating the case as a homicide. The Long Beach Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation and is sharing information with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for their independent review, according to the LBPD.
Investigators say Gonzalez was trying to break up a fight between Rodriguez and a 15-year-old girl near the campus, and drew his weapon when Rodriguez got into a car trying to flee the scene.
Before an emotional school board meeting Wednesday night, Superintendent Jill Baker told reporters Gonzalez's firing it was the right thing to do.
"After our internal review, we clearly saw areas where the employee violated district policy and did not meet our standards," she said.
Dozens of people took to the podium last night to commend the board's decision, but also called for change — with many calling for the district to disband its school safety officer division entirely.
Gonzalez was put on administrative leave before he was fired, though he has not yet been criminally charged.