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Investigators Looking Into 'Pattern Of Criminal Activity' At Auto Body Shop Where Andres Guardado Was Shot By Deputies

GARDENA (CBSLA) — New details are emerging in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigation into the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Andres Guardado.

The Sheriff's Department has said the June 18 shooting occurred in an unincorporated area near the city of Gardena after two deputies on patrol spotted Guardado with a gun and he ran.

During a media briefing Wednesday, LASD Cmdr. Chris Marks said investigators recovered a .40-caliber handgun loaded with an illegal 14-round magazine at the scene next to Guardado.

The pistol had Guardado's DNA on the trigger and magazine, according to Marks.

guardado investigation

Investigators say Guardado was not wearing a security guard uniform or clothing, had no California security license, and no one who was interviewed by detectives has admitted to hiring Guardado as a security guard at the location.

"He was not yet 21 years old; therefore, he was unable to be legally employed as an armed security guard,'' Marks said. "No person interviewed to date has admitted to hiring Mr. Guardado as a security guard at the location."

Relatives had previously told investigators that Guardado was working as an informal security guard for an auto body shop in the area, and was doing so when he was approached by the deputies.

In a statement Wednesday, his family denied that Guardado was linked to any criminal activity at the shop.

"The Department's attempt to convolute and cherry pick the facts to create a narrative that links Andres' death to previous incidents of crime at the shop is nothing more than an attempt to justify the killing of this young man..." the statement read.

Marks also revealed that both deputies who responded to the scene on the day Guardado was
shot had previously gone to the business to investigate a non-fatal shooting on June 7, which has not been linked to Guardado.

Inside that location, Marks said investigators found "numerous bottles" of nitrous oxide gas, or "noz", leading authorities to believe there was "obviously a pattern of criminal activity" at the location.

Security camera video played at Wednesday's media briefing also showed what appeared a crowd of young men gathered along the side of the location where Guardado was shot.

Other video footage showed the crowd fleeing the area, some with objects that investigators say were "noz" bottles in their hands.

Both deputies involved in the shooting have been interviewed by homicide investigators and answered all questions, according to Marks.

Guardado was shot on the evening of June 18 during a foot pursuit and a full autopsy was conducted June 22.

All five gunshot wounds were fatal and there were also graze wounds on the forearms as well as secondary fragment wounds, a coroner's report said.

The criminal investigation is ongoing.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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