18-year-old mother shot by Long Beach school officer dies after being taken off life support


LONG BEACH, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — The family of an 18-year-old woman who was left brain dead after being shot by a Southern California school safety officer says she has died.

Mona Rodriguez was removed from life support on Tuesday following a surgery to remove some of her organs, which will be donated to save the lives of five others, her family said in a statement that was released Wednesday by their attorney to NewsNation affiliate KTLA.

Rodriguez was involved in a fight last Monday in a parking lot near Millikan High School, then got into the passenger seat of a car. As the car sped away, the officer began shooting, striking Rodriguez in the back of the head, police spokesperson Arantxa Chavarria said.

Rafeul Chowdhury, the father of Rodriguez’s 5-month-old son, said he was driving the car and that his 16-year-old brother was in the back seat when the shots were fired. He said no one in the car was armed.

According to Chowdhury, the officer had warned Rodriguez and the other teen girl that he would deploy pepper spray if they continued to fight, and the two stopped. No other warnings were given before the officer opened fire, Chowdhury added.

“All we did is just got in the car and left,” he said last Wednesday. “He never told us to stop anytime soon, and the way he shot us, it wasn’t right.”

Rodriguez’s family has been calling for the officer involved to be criminally charged for his actions.

School safety officers are not permitted to fire at a moving vehicle or at fleeing suspects, according to a use-of-force policy from Long Beach Unified School District’s school safety office. Firearms may be discharged only when reasonably necessary and justified under the circumstances, such as self-defense and the protection of others, the policy states.

The school safety officer is on paid administrative leave amid the investigation into the deadly shooting and has not yet been publicly identified., KTLA reports.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate KTLA contributed to this report.

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