Police in Gardena, California shot and killed 18-year-old Andre Guardado on Thursday while he was working as a security guard at a local autobody shop. Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies were responsible for the shooting, and Guardado's family is now seeking justice. The outcry on social media is also getting more urgent.
Guardado was shot on Redondo Beach Boulevard shortly before 6 p.m. PT on Thursday, according to a report by CBS Los Angeles. Deputies claimed that they saw a man flashing a gun before running between two businesses, and they pursued. The owner of Freeway Auto, Andrew Heney, explained that Guardado was scared by the sight of the police. "We had a security guard that was out front because we had just had certain issues with people tagging and stuff like that," Heney said. "And then the police came up, and they pulled their guns on him and he ran because he was scared, and they shot and killed him." Heney later added, "He's got a clean background and everything. There's no reason."
Guardado was pronounced dead on the scene of the shooting, though it is still not clear how many times he was shot nor how many officers fired on him. Police recovered a gun from the scene, which was devoid of a serial number or other identifying marks. It was loaded with an illegal large-capacity magazine.
"Deputies observed the individual, at which point he observed the deputies," reads the official account from the Sheriff's Department. "The individual then produced a handgun and then began running southbound away from the deputies through businesses nearby. Deputies engaged in a short foot pursuit between the two businesses, at some point the deputies contacted the suspect and that’s when the deputy-involved shooting occurred."
The department adds that Guardado was not wearing any identifying clothing to indicate he was working as a security guard, nor was he licensed as a security officer by the state of California. Still, Guardado's family finds it unlikely that he owned a handgun, let alone that he was brandishing it on the street.
"I'd never heard or seen him have any kind of weapons. He never talked about them," said Guardado's cousin, Celin Avarca. She told reporters that Guardado was working two jobs as he tried to pursue a career as a registered nurse.
"He was a good man," said Guardado's sister, Jennifer. "He was gonna make it in life. He was gonna make it and become a good, professional man in life, but they took that away from my family and me. My parents are completely destroyed. We're all dead already inside."