The parents of an 18-year-old man who was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy near Gardena renewed their plea Tuesday for a transparent investigation into their son’s death, and called on the sheriff’s department to release the coroner’s report to shed light on the shooting.
“I’m asking (the sheriff) to release the coroner’s report, to release all the reports, because my son left that day and he had a plan to come back home. He never came home,” Elisa Guardado said through an interpreter, speaking about her son Andres Guardado.
“I want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to any other mother,” she said. “It’s painful. My son wanted to be a doctor. My son wanted to take care of me. Who’s going to take care of me now?”
Andres Guardado was shot around 6 p.m. June 18 near the 400 block of West Redondo Beach Boulevard. Sheriff’s officials said two patrol deputies were at the scene when Guardado pulled out a handgun then began running. Deputies chased him and caught up with him in an alley, and one deputy fired six shots.
Guardado was pronounced dead at the scene. Sheriff’s officials said a weapon was discovered at the scene — an unregistered .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol with a polymer frame and no serial number, a Smith & Wesson slide and a prohibited 15-round Glock magazine fully loaded.
Relatives have said Guardado was working as an informal security guard for an auto body shop in the area, and was doing so when he was approached by the deputies.
Adam Shea, attorney for the family, said he disputes whether Guardado was armed.
“According to his family and his best friends, he did not own a gun,” Shea said. “He did not have a gun, did not have access to a gun.”
He said, “How and why that gun was there is a question that needs to be answered.”
The attorney said the family wants the autopsy results released to learn how Guardado died.
“There are multiple reports Andres was shot in the back,” he said. “… We want to know where he was shot and how many times he was shot.”
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said earlier that he personally reached out to the state Attorney General’s Office to ask for its oversight of the shooting investigation, answering calls for a transparent, independent probe.
He said during a town hall meeting Monday with Compton officials that investigators are still working to track down witnesses. He said reports, such as the autopsy, will not be made public “until all the witnesses have been identified and interviewed,” adding that doing so prematurely would result in a “compromised result.”