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Young Mother Shot Outside Millikan High School In Long Beach To Be Taken Off Life Support; Safety Officer Placed On Leave

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — An 18-year-old woman who was shot by school safety officer Eddie F. Gonzalez, near Millikan High School in Long Beach will be taken off life support Friday, against the wishes of her family, their attorney said.

The family identified the woman as Mona Rodriguez, the mother of a 5-month-old baby. Rodriguez is on life support, and is not expected to survive, according to her family. She was not a student at the school.

An attorney for the family has been calling for the state attorney general to investigate.

"I just want justice for my girl, my baby mama, my love of my life that I can't get back ever again," her boyfriend Rafeul Chowdhury said tearfully. "I don't know what to do with my 5-month-old son."

Rodriguez was shot in the head by a Long Beach Unified School District public safety officer, after intervening in a fight between her and a 15-year-old girl outside the campus. The officer has been placed on paid leave as Long Beach Police Department investigates what happened.

The officer was captured on video firing two shots into a gray car as it sped away, its tires screeching, in the area of Palo Verde Avenue and East Spring Street, outside the school on Monday afternoon. Student Aidan Altobello had captured the video on his cell phone.

Millikan SRO shooting
(credit: Aidan Altobello)

"I just saw two girls fighting, and one got in the car, and that's when they scurried off and the dude shot at them," he said.

One of the shots left a hole in the rear passenger seat window of Chowdhury's car. Rodriguez, who was sitting on the passenger side of her boyfriend's car, was initially reported to have been struck in the upper body.

"One of the bullets went through the door, I could have been shot in the rib," Shahriear Chowdhury, who was sitting in the rear passenger seat, said. "The other went through the window where it got Mona."

Investigators have also determined a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were also involved in the initial fight, but their involvement remains under investigation, according to Long Beach police.

The Long Beach Unified School District is investigating the officer's conduct. In a statement, Superintendent Dr. Jill Baker said in part, "Our school safety officers are hired to protect the physical safety of our staff and students on and around campuses. They are highly trained and held accountable to the established standards in their profession. Those standards will be used to assess the incident that occurred yesterday."

No arrests have been made.

The district employs 11 school safety officers who undergo the same training at academies as police office officers.

The shooting remains under investigation by the Long Beach Police Department. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office will also conduct an independent investigation into the incident.

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