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

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.

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 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.

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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 shot Rodriguez in the process.

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 nor the city of Long Beach.

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.

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,” Fox 5 Los Angeles reported.

Gonzalez was terminated from the district the same day that Rodriguez was pronounced dead, the school district told The Hill in a statement. 

The district said he was terminated after an internal review "clearly revealed" that he violated the district's use of force policy.  

"We thank the Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for their diligent work and swift action on this case," the district said. "We acknowledge the impact of this tragedy and we again extend our sincerest condolences to everyone who has been impacted, especially the family, friends and loved ones of the shooting victim, Manuela Rodriguez." 

Updated 1:45 p.m.