LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – A hearing was scheduled Wednesday to determine if there is enough evidence to require a former Long Beach Unified School District safety officer to stand trial on a murder charge stemming from an 18-year-old woman's fatal shooting last year.
Eddie Gonzalez, who was fired by the LBUSD about a week after shooting Manuela "Mona" Rodriguez in the head on the afternoon of Sept. 27 as she sat inside a moving car, was charged a month later with her killing. He pleaded not guilty at a Dec. 8 court hearing.
Rodriguez was shot near Spring Street and Palo Verde Avenue, near Millikan High School, and was on life support until Oct. 5.
The woman, who was the mother of an infant son, was in the front passenger seat of a car that was being driven away from the scene of an altercation when the shooting occurred shortly after 3 p.m.
Then-Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna -- who has since retired -- said at the time that detectives determined the school safety officer was driving on patrol when he saw a physical altercation between Rodriguez and a 15- year-old girl occurring in the lanes of traffic.
Rodriguez was accompanied by a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy "whose level of participation is still under investigation," according to the police chief.
When Rodriguez, the man and the boy attempted to flee in a four-door sedan, the school safety officer approached the car and discharged his weapon as the driver began driving away, Luna said.
"Mona was in the front passenger seat of the vehicle and was struck by the gunfire," Luna said.
Video of the shooting posted online appears to show the officer firing at least two shots at the car.
Her family's lawyer said her heart, lungs, liver and both kidneys were donated that day, saving the lives of five people.
Gonzalez has been in custody in lieu of $2 million bail since his arrest Oct. 27 by Long Beach police detectives in the city of Orange.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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