An investigation is underway Friday morning into the fatal shooting of an armed suspect who ran from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies near Gardena when — according to the man who employed him as a security guard — law enforcement personnel pulled “their guns on him and he ran because he was scared.”
The shooting occurred just before 6 p.m. Thursday in the 400 block of West Redondo Beach Boulevard, near Figueroa Street, in the unincorporated West Compton area, according to Deputy James Nagao.
Deputies from the Compton Station were patrolling the area when they spotted the suspect, Lt. Charles Calderaro told reporters at the scene.
“Deputies observed the individual, at which point he observed the deputies,” Calderaro said. “The individual then produced a hand gun and began running southbound away from the deputies through businesses nearby.
“Deputies engaged in a short foot pursuit between the two businesses,” Calderaro said. “At some point, deputies contacted the suspect and that’s when the deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
The suspect, described as between 18 to 20 years old, was struck by gunfire in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene, Nagao said. No deputies were injured.
Only one deputy fired at the suspect and it was unclear if the suspect fired at deputies, the department said.
The man was identified by family members as Andres Guardado, KCAL9 said, adding he worked as a security guard at Freeway Body Shop, 420 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., near where the shooting occurred.
The owner of the shop, Andrew Heney, told the station he can’t understand why Guardado was shot.
“We had security out front because we had certain issues with people tagging and stuff like that, and then the police come up and they pull their guns on him and he ran because he was scared and they shot and killed him,” Heney said.
“He has a clean background and everything, there’s no reason (for the shooting).”
The suspect was not wearing a security guard uniform at the time deputies spotted him and a gun was recovered at the scene, Calderaro said.
Investigations by the Sheriff’s Homicide and Internal Affairs bureaus were underway, as is policy whenever a deputy-involved shooting occurs.
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