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School Safety Officer Fired After Fatally Shooting 18-Year-Old Mother Outside Of California High School

School Safety Officer Fired After Fatally Shooting 18-Year-Old Mother Outside Of California High School

Following a unanimous vote from the school board, school resource officer Eddie Gonzalez was fired for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old mother Mona Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was in the passenger seat of a car leaving Millikan High School in Long Beach, California, when Gonzalez shot into the vehicle, hitting Rodriguez in the head and leaving her brain dead.

Rodriguez had reportedly been in an altercation with a 15-year old girl near Millikan High School in Long Beach, California when Rodriguez informed both young women he would deploy pepper spray unless they stopped fighting, which both young women did.

Rodriguez's 5-month-old son, Israel, Israel's father—20-year-old Rafeul Chowdhury—and Chowdhury's 16-year old brother Shahriear were also in the vehicle at the time of the fatal shooting.

Rafeul told KTLA5 News Gonzalez made no other warnings before he began shooting at their vehicle.

"All we did is just got in the car and left. He never told us to stop... and the way he shot us, it wasn't right."

After eight days in the hospital, Rodriguez's family made the difficult decision to take her off life support, releasing a statement revealing her organs would be donated to save the lives of others.

"All the doctors and nurses of Long Beach Memorial Hospital on Mona's floor gave a Hero's Celebration to Mona by standing in the hallway as Mona was taken to the operation while her favorite song was played–'Letter to my son' by Skeezy."

Crowds gathered outside the offices of the Long Beach Unified School District on Wednesday, where the board was meeting to vote on Gonzalez's employment.

A few hours later, the crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief when Gonzalez was dismissed after a unanimous 5-0 vote from the school board.

Superintendent Jill A. Baker expressed her condolences to Rodriguez's friends and family.

She made it clear there was simply no other choice than to fire Gonzalez.

"We clearly saw areas where this employee violated District policy, and did not meet our expectations."
"We believe the decision to terminate this officer's employment is warranted, justified, and quite frankly, the right thing to do."

Baker also made it clear Gonzalez deliberately broke LBUSD's use of force policy, which prohibits shooting at a fleeing person or a moving vehicle unless it is done so as a "final means of defense."

The termination of Gonzalez's employment was insufficient for Rodriguez's family, however, who have called for his arrest.

Luis Carrillo, the Rodriguez family's attorney, sent a letter to District Attorney George Gascon saying in no uncertain terms it was clear Gonzalez's actions merited criminal charges.

"This officer had no justification to use deadly force against Ms. Rodriguez because Ms. Rodriguez did not pose an imminent threat to the officer when she was shot by the officer."
"The actions of this officer constitute a serious violation of state and federal constitutional rights."
"The unjustified use of deadly force by this officer also meet the threshold for criminal charges against the officer for murder or for manslaughter."

Indeed, many others have taken to Twitter demanding justice for Rodriguez and charges for Gonzalez, with several calling for all armed officers to be removed from schools.

Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, also called for Gonzalez's immediate arrest.

A criminal investigation against Gonzalez is currently underway by the Long Beach Police Department and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Prior to his employment at Millikan High School, Gonzalez had two conspicuously short terms as a police officer.

He served as an officer in Los Alamitos for a mere four months, and then for under a year in Sierra Madre, but the reasons for his brief employment in both forces has not been made public.

Yessica Loza, a cousin-in-law of Rodriguez, started a GoFundMe Page for Rodriguez's son and family, which has currently raised over $32 thousand of its $50 thousand goal.

Loza described Rodriguez as "smart, beautiful, and loving" on the GoFundMe page, and promised the young mother Israel would be cared for and her memory would be kept alive.

"We will forever keep your love for him alive. Please watch over all those who loved you and visit your baby in his dreams every night your family will always love you and your son will always be taken care of, I promise."