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Mona Rodriguez, Young Mother Shot By Long Beach School Officer, Donates Organs, Officer Accused Of Shooting Her Fired

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Mona Rodriguez, the 18-year-old mother who was shot in the head by a school safety officer outside Millikan High School in Long Beach, has donated organs to five people, according to her family's attorney.

Meanwhile, the  Long Beach Unified School District officer who is accused of fatally shooting her has been fired by the school district, it was announced Wednesday evening.

District officials announced during a late-afternoon news conference that Eddie Gonzalez had violated district policies on use of force.

"After our internal review, we clearly saw areas where the employee violated district policy and did not meet our standards and expectations," LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker told reporters. "We believe the decision to terminate this officer's employment is warranted, justified and quite frankly, the right thing to do.

"The use-of-force policy used by our school safety office states officers shall not fire at a fleeing person, shall not fire at a moving vehicle and shall not fire through a vehicle window unless circumstances clearly warrant the use of a firearm as a final means of defense. Again, based on our review, we believe our internal policy was violated."

Before the operation on Rodriguez, doctors and nurses celebrated her as a hero, standing in the hallway of Long Beach Memorial Care Hospital as she was taken to the operating room. Her favorite song, "Letter To My Son" by Skeezy, was played on repeat during the operation, attorney Luis Carillo said in a statement.

mona rodriguez
(credit: Luis Carillo)

"Yesterday Manuela "Mona" Rodriguez gave a heart, a liver, lungs, and two kidneys to save the lives of 5 people," his statement said. She stopped breathing at 5:14 p.m.

The young mother was shot by a Long Beach Unified School District safety officer on Sept. 27 after getting into a fight with a 15-year-old girl in the area of Palo Verde Avenue and East Spring Street, near Millikan High School. Officer Eddie Gonzalez tried to break up the fight, then opened fire at the fleeing car that Rodriguez jumped into.

Rodriguez, who had not been a student at the school, was shot in the head.

The shooting is under investigation by the Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Gonzalez, who was hired by the district in January of this year, has been placed on leave.

Rodriguez's family thanked a crowd of protestors who showed up to Wednesday's board meeting.

"You guys are the reason I'm here, right now," Oscar Rodriguez, the victim's brother, said. "It's my sister mainly, but you guys inspired me to do the right thing."

While the family said they were grateful the officer was fired, they are also calling for charges to be filed against Gonzalez. They have reportedly met with the District Attorney's office.

A Gofundme has been set up to help the family with Rodriguez's funeral costs and to care for her 5-month-old son.

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