Student, 18, brain dead after being shot in back of the head by school safety officer as she fled brawl outside school
A TEENAGE student has been left brain dead after she was shot in the back of the head by a safety officer as she fled a brawl outside her school.
Mona Rodriguez, 18, who has a five-month-old son, is on life support after she was struck by a bullet while she was in a car driving away from Millikan High School in Long Beach, California.
Her devastated family has said that Mona is not expected to survive her horrific injuries, according to News.com.au.
Ms Rodriguez had been in a fight with a 15-year-old girl by the school on Monday afternoon.
She then hopped into a car with her brother and the father of her child, Rafeul Chowdhury.
She was shot leaving the scene. The 20-year-old father and a 16-year old brother are being investigated for their involvement in the incident, police told KTLA.
Mobile phone video obtained by the outlet shows the officer fire two shots at the car as it nearly hits him speeding away from a parking lot.
Ms Rodriguez’s family demanded justice on Wednesday outside the school, where Mr Chowdhury told reporters the couple had been trying to have a child for some time, according to KTLA.
“And now we do, and now she’s gone,” he said. “I just got to step up now and play the mother and the father role, and keep my son strong.”
Mr Chowdhury said the officer had threatened the two fighting girls with pepper spray.
The girls stopped, he claimed, and the officer never threatened to use the weapon before firing.
“All we did is just got in the car and left,” Mr Chowdhury told the outlet.
“He never told us to stop anytime soon, and the way he shot us, it wasn’t right.”
The school safety officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, KTLA reports.
Jill Baker, superintendent of Long Beach Public Schools, told the outlet that the district’s safety officers are “highly trained and held accountable to the established standards in their profession”, and the officer involved will be judged accordingly.
He shot at someone in the passenger seat with no regard for anyone’s life in the car
Civil rights activist Najee Ali supported Ms Rodriguez’s family as they gathered outside the school on Wednesday.
“There’s no excuse, no justification for this officer shooting in the rear passenger-side window of a car with a woman who’s unarmed. Everyone in the car was unarmed,” Mr Ali said outside the school.
“And the fact is, he shot at someone in the passenger seat with no regard for anyone’s life in the car.
“The only way we stop these safety officers from shooting unarmed people and killing them is by having them prosecuted and held accountable for what they’ve done wrong to members of the community.”
Long Beach police are continuing to investigate the use of lethal force in the incident.
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