Moment student teen mom, 18, with five-month old son, was left brain dead after being shot in back of head by school safety officer as she drove away from fight
The moment a teenage mother was shot in the back of the head by a school safety officer, leaving her brain dead, has been captured by cell phone video.
Mona Rodriguez, an 18-year-old student, is not expected to survive, according to her family.
Rodriguez, who has a five-month-old son, is on life support after the shooting, which happened as she drove away from the scene near Millikan High School in Long Beach, California on Monday.
That afternoon, Rodriguez had gotten into a fight with a 15-year-old girl.
She was shot while leaving the school in a car with her brother, 16, and the father of her child, Rafeul Chowdhury, 20. None of the people in the car were students at the school.
The two men are being investigated for their involvement in the fight, police told KTLA.
The moment a teenage mother was shot in the back of the head by a school safety officer, leaving her brain dead, has been captured by cell phone video
Mona Rodriguez, a teenage mother, has been left brain dead after being shot in the back of the head by a school safety officer as she tried to flee a fight
The 18-year-old student is on life support and is not expected to survive, according to her family
Video shows the officer fire two shots at the car, which nearly hits him as it speeds out of the parking lot. Chowdhury was driving the vehicle.
Long Beach Police are investigating the officer’s use of lethal force and the school safety officer, who has not been named, has been placed on leave.
Superintendent Jill Baker told KTLA that safety officers are ‘highly trained and held accountable to the established standards in their profession.’
Speaking outside the school on Wednesday, Rodriguez’s family demanded action.
Chowdhury told reporters that the officer had threatened the two girls with pepper spray.
He claimed that the girls stopped fighting and that the officer did not warn them he would use his gun before firing.
‘All we did is just got in the car and left,’ Chowdhury said. ‘He never told us to stop anytime soon, and the way he shot us, it wasn’t right.’
KTLA reported that Chowdhury added that he and Rodriguez had been trying to have a child for some time.
‘Now we do, and she [Rodriguez]’s gone,’ he said. ‘I just got to step up now and play the mother and the father role, and keep my son strong.’
Civil rights activist Najee Ali also spoke 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,’ he said.
Rafeul Chowdhury, the father of Rodriguez’s child, told reporters that the officer had not warned before firing his weapon. Pictured: Chowdhury (left) with civil rights activist Najee Ali
Long Beach Police are investigating the officer’s use of legal force and the school safety officer, who has not been named, has been placed on leave. Pictured: Millikan High School where the shooting took place
‘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.’
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral and legal expenses and to help support Rodriguez’s son.
‘Mona is leaving behind her mom, 4 brothers, and her sister but most importantly she’s leaving behind her 5 month old baby boy Isael’, the page reads.
‘She was smart, beautiful, loving and anyone who knew her knew how big her heart was, how full of life she was and how much she loved her family but most especially her son who was her entire life, pride and joy,’ Yessica Loza, Rodriguez’s cousin wrote on the page.
‘We are all heart broken and in pain never did we imagine we would loose[sic] her like this or so soon she had her entire life ahead of her and because of a careless act done by a school safety guard a 5 month old baby boy was left without a mother and we all lost someone we loved so much.’