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Ex-Cop Charged With Murder of Unarmed Teen Mom

Charge comes a month after the California tragedy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2021 12:49 AM CDT
Ex-Officer Charged in Fatal Shooting of Teen Mom
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / MattGush)

(Newser) – The California school safety officer who fatally shot an unarmed teen in September will be charged with murder. The Los Angeles County district attorney announced the charge against Eddie Gonzalez on Wednesday, reports the Guardian, which notes that this is "a rare prosecution for an on-duty killing by an officer." Gonzalez was patrolling the area around Millikan High School in Long Beach when he witnessed an altercation between 18-year-old Manuela "Mona" Rodriguez and another teen; he fired at a vehicle after Rodriguez climbed into the backseat and the car started driving away. Rodriguez was struck in the head and died after a week on life support, ABC 7 reports.

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Gonzalez was terminated from his position in a 5-0 vote by the Long Beach Unified School District's school board. District policy states that school safety officers must not fire at someone who is fleeing or in a moving vehicle, and also must not fire through a vehicle's window "unless circumstances clearly warrant the use of a firearm as a final means of defense." "We must hold accountable the people we have placed in positions of trust to protect us," DA George Gascón said. "That is especially true for the armed personnel we traditionally have relied upon to guard our children on their way to and from and at school." Rodriguez was the mother of a baby boy. (Read more California stories.)

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