LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – An independent autopsy released by the family of a teen who was killed by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies last month in Gardena indicates that he was shot in the back five times.
The controversial shooting death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado occurred on the evening of June 18, in the 400 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard.
The law firm representing the family Wednesday released the results of an autopsy which was conducted independently by forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu on June 26.
The results of the independent autopsy – which includes a graphic photograph – appears to indicate that Guardado had five gunshot wounds to his back. He also had a graze abrasion on his left forearm.
He had no drugs or alcohol in his system, toxicology results determined.
The official autopsy which was conducted by the L.A. County coroner's office remains sealed.
"It has been 20 days since Andres was tragically gunned down by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy," said family attorney Nicholas Yoka in a statement. "We are once again imploring the sheriff's department to step forward, release the medical examiner's autopsy report and do the right thing by this family."
On the night of the shooting, deputies patrolling in the area said they saw Guardado flash a gun and then run south between two businesses. Deputies gave chase, and after a short foot pursuit, Guardado was shot. He died at the scene.
Guardado was working as an informal security guard for the Freeway auto body shop at the time. According to the sheriff's department, deputies recovered an unregistered gun loaded with a large-capacity magazine. They also say he was not licensed and was not wearing a uniform.
However, his family has repeatedly disputed the claim that he was armed.
"According to the family and best friends, he did not own a gun, did not have a gun, did not have access to a gun," family attorney Adam Shea said at a June 30 news conference.
The family also claims witnesses told them Guardado was running from deputies when he was shot.
The family has demanded that security video from nearby businesses be released. Further complicating the issue is that L.A. County Sheriff's deputies do not wear body cameras. The department is purportedly going to begin equipping its deputies with body cameras later this year.
In a virtual Compton City Council meeting on June 29, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that his investigators are still following leads from potential witnesses and cannot release any reports until those are complete.
"It can't be made public until all the witnesses have been identified and been interviewed. Otherwise, we're gonna taint their testimony and we're gonna have a compromised result," Villanueva said.
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to pursue an independent review of the investigation.
Meantime, the FBI is monitoring the LASD's investigation of Guardado's shooting death.
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