Young mother shot by Long Beach school safety officer dies after being taken off life support
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Mona Rodriguez, who was shot in the head by a Long Beach school safety officer and declared brain dead, was taken off life support Tuesday night and her organs were donated to five people, the family's lawyer released in an email statement Wednesday morning.
Rodriguez donated her heart, lungs, liver and both kidneys during medical procedures performed at Long Beach Memorial Care Hospital on Tuesday.
Doctors and nurses at the hospital gave Rodriguez a hero's celebration in the hallways as she was taken to the operating room while her favorite song, "Letter To My Son," by Skeezy played, the family's lawyer Luis Carrillo said in the email.
Manuela Sahagun, mother of Mona Rodriguez, center, hugs family members during a press conference on Friday, October 1, 2021. The family of Mona Rodriguez appears outside Long Beach Memorial Care Hospital, where Rodriguez was taken off life support to
Rodriguez stopped breathing at 5:14 p.m., after her organs were removed at the hospital, according to Carrillo.
Rodriguez, 18, was shot in the head by a Long Beach Unified School District safety resource officer on Sept. 27 while inside a car that was attempting to flee the scene of an earlier altercation near Millikan High School.
According to the school district, the school resource officer was responding to an alleged fight between Rodriguez and a 15-year-old girl. When Rodriguez, a man and a boy tried to leave the fight scene in a gray car, the school resource officer opened fire, hitting Rodriguez, Long Beach police said.
- Woman shot by school resource officer in Long Beach declared brain dead, family says
- Young mother shot by school cop in Long Beach will soon be taken off life support
- 'She didn’t deserve this', Family of woman shot in head by Long Beach school cop demanding justice
Rodriguez was sitting in the front passenger seat when she was shot, police said.
Video of the shooting posted online appears to show the officer firing at least two shots at the car.
LBUSD Superintendent Dr. Jill Baker announced the district has fired the school resource officer on Wednesday, October 6. LBUSD said the officer violated the district's policies.
"We believe the decision to terminate this officer's employment is warranted, justified – and quite frankly – the right thing to do," Baker said in a press conference Wednesday.
Baker added that the school's use-of-force policies for its resource officers do not allow shooting at fleeing person or moving vehicles unless circumstances "clearly warrant a use of firearm as final mean of defense."
Baker said on Wednesday that Long Beach PD and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office are handling the criminal investigations of the deadly shooting.
LBUSD released the officer's name but FOX 11 is not naming the officer as he is not facing any criminal charges, as of Wednesday, October 6.
Investigators determined Rodriguez initiated the original altercation and that she and the 15-year-old girl "are known to each other," though the motive for the altercation was unknown, according to police.
Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.
Rodriguez's boyfriend of two years and the father of her 5-month-old son, Rafeul Chowdhury, got emotional outside Long Beach Memorial Care Hospital last week saying, "I want justice for my girl, my baby momma, the love of my life."
"I want him in jail for what he did to my girlfriend," he said. "She did not deserve it."
Mona Rodriguez was declared brain dead after being shot by a school resource officer in Long Beach.
"We want justice for my cousin. She did not deserve to get shot. She might have been doing something she wasn’t supposed to but she was unarmed, she was already fleeing, there was no reason for that cop to fire," said her cousin, Alex Villasenor, during a vigil last week.
School officials said no students were hurt in the shooting and that there was no indication any students were involved. No one from the Long Beach Police Department was involved in the shooting.
Rodriguez's family members held a press conference on Tuesday to call on Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón to file charges of murder against the officer.
Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.
CNS contributed to this report.