Jury Awards $21M in Killing of Pregnant Teen by Police

Elena Mondragon was in car with robbery suspect when cops tried to pull them over
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2017 12:59 PM CDT
Updated Jun 27, 2022 4:39 PM CDT
Pregnant 16-Year-Old Killed in Police Shooting
Elena Mondragon   (GoFundMe)

Update: The family of a pregnant teenager who was shot and killed by undercover police officers in 2017 has been awarded $21 million by a federal jury. The verdict was reached Friday, the AP reports. John Burris, the family's lawyer, said the jury split culpability between the man driving the car in which Elena Mondragon was riding when she was shot and the police officers. The Northern California city of Fremont would have to pay about $10 million, he said, praising the jury's decision as "a tremendous verdict for the family." The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office decided in 2018 that the shooting was justified. Fremont officials did not comment about the verdict. Our original story from March 2017 follows:

A 16-year-old California girl who was fatally wounded during an incident with police earlier this week was pregnant, KTVU and KGO report. The teen, IDed as Elena Mondragon, was a passenger in a car that had been reported stolen and was being sought in a bunch of armed robberies. When Fremont cops driving in Hayward spotted the vehicle around 5:20pm Tuesday, they tried to make a traffic stop, but as officers neared the car, the driver allegedly drove his car right into the police vehicle, hurting two detectives. Police started shooting, and Elena was struck by gunfire before the car sped away.

The panicked driver crashed the car not far from the scene, however, and fled on foot. Two other passengers besides Mondragon were taken into custody, but although firefighters tried to save the teen, she eventually succumbed to her injuries at a nearby trauma center. The coroner notes the girl, known as "Ebbie" to family and friends, looked to be in her first trimester. A GoFundMe that has already collected more than $3,000 to help defray funeral costs has been set up in her name. Meanwhile, police arrested the man they believe to be the driver Wednesday night in San Francisco, hauling him in on an outstanding warrant for various robbery charges. Those close to Elena tell KGO the suspect is her boyfriend. (A Bakersfield man with dementia was shot dead by cops.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.