Former school safety officer charged with murder in death of unarmed 18-year-old

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A former school safety officer in Long Beach, Calif. has been charged with murder in connection to the death of an unarmed 18-year-old student.

Former school safety officer charged with murder in death of unarmed 18-year-old
© Getty Images Former school safety officer charged with murder in death of unarmed 18-year-old

Eddie Gonzalez fatally shot student Manuela Rodriguez while breaking up a confrontation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said in a statement. He is expected to be arraigned in a Los Angeles County Superior court on Friday.

Gonzalez was patrolling an area near Millikan High School on Sept. 27 when he noticed an altercation between Rodriguez and another teenage girl, who was not named.

The Long Beach police department said earlier this month that Rodriguez got into an altercation with a 15-year-old juvenile. A 20-year-old male adult and a 16-year-old male were also involved, but their level of involvement was still under investigation.

Gonzalez approached a four-door sedan that Rodriguez tried to flee in with the two males, trying to prevent them from fleeing. Gonzalez discharged his firearm, striking Rodriguez.

The Long Beach Unified School District said in a statement at the time that no other injuries had been reported by other students after the shooting.

Rodriguez was pronounced dead of her injuries on Oct. 6, and the police department said it was investigating the matter as a homicide.

The police department said that the officer had been employed by the school district and was not affiliated with the department no the city of Long Beach.

Gonzalez was fired form the school district about week after the shooting, according to Fox 5 Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Police Chief Robert Luna told reporters that the charge was “a step in trying to bring some closure to this very unfortunate and impactful incident” the outlet reported.

The Hill has reached out to the Long Beach school district for comment.

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