LA Sheriff’s Department examines cameras in shooting probe

National News

FILE – In this Friday, June 19, 2020, file photo, relatives of victim Andres Guardado, 18, who was fatally shot by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, embrace as they tour the site of the shooting inside an auto shop in Gardena, Calif. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Saturday, June 20 that it is examining footage from security cameras that might have recorded the fatal shooting after deputies spotted Guardado with a gun and he ran. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

GARDENA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Saturday that it is examining footage from security cameras that might have recorded the fatal shooting of a young man after deputies spotted him with a gun and he ran.

Capt. Kent Wegener, the head of the department’s Homicide Bureau, said in a news conference that investigators have taken six or seven exterior cameras from the scene of Thursday’s shooting in which 18-year-old Andres Guardado was killed by a deputy.

The killing in an alley among businesses in the Gardena area was the second fatal shooting by Los Angeles County deputies this week.

Thursday’s shooting took place after deputies spotted Guardado with a gun in front of a business in the 400 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard near Gardena.

Wegener said Guardado ran from the deputies after he saw them. The deputies saw that Guardado had a gun, he said.

The shooting took place in the back of the building, Wegener said. Guardado was shot in the torso, he said, adding that the medical examiner will perform an autopsy.

Guardado’s gun appeared to have been pieced together from different parts, and it did not have a serial number, Wegener said.

Investigators do not believe Guardado fired his gun, he said.

Guardado was too young to work as a state-licensed security guard at the business, Wegener said.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the shooting underscores why the department needs to get body cameras for all of its uniformed deputies as soon as possible. The department is currently soliciting bids for a company to provide the cameras.

On June 7, deputies responded to the same address on a report that a man had been shot in the driveway, Wegener said. The man survived the shooting, and deputies found narcotics and a shotgun in the building.

On Friday, more than 25 people gathered by a small memorial of flowers, candles and posters at the scene where 18-year-old Andres Guardado was shot.

His sister, Jennifer Guardado, 22, held a white rose and a sign with his photograph.

“My parents are completely destroyed. We’re all dead inside,” she said. “I didn’t even get to say goodbye to him, and it hurt me too much.”

His sister said she wanted to meet the deputy who shot Guardado and see video footage of what happened.

“They’re not going to kill an innocent person and get away with it,” she said. “There will be justice in this world.”

Noe Abarca said Guardado, 18, was his nephew and worked two part-time security jobs, lived with his parents in Koreatown and had a brother and sister.

“This kid here, he was such a sweetheart,” she said. “I will not stand by and let this go on.”

Abarca said his nephew was studying to be a mechanic and had recently told family members that he was considering joining the Army.

Guardado graduated from high school about a year ago, Abarca said, and he recently purchased a car. He didn’t drink or smoke, and supported his parents, he said.

“He was a great kid. He was always making jokes, smiling,” Abarca said. “How many kids do we have like him? Not many.”

Guardado attended Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, according to the Los Angeles Community College District, which called his death a tragedy.

On Wednesday, the half-brother of a Black man recently found hanged in a Southern California park was fatally shot when he opened fire on Los Angeles County major crimes bureau deputies in the Mojave Desert community of Rosamond, authorities said.

The deputies were trying to arrest Terron J. Boone, 31, on charges that he beat his girlfriend and held her captive for nearly a week.

Boone was the half-brother of Robert Fuller, 24, who was found hanging from a tree last week in Palmdale. Initial findings that it was likely a suicide led to protests and calls for an independent investigation.

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