An independent autopsy concluded that Andres Guardado was killed by a wound to his trunk, after being shot five times in the back by an L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy. The report also showed that there were no drugs or alcohol in his system.
Even with the independent investigation, the Sheriff Alex Villanueva put a hold on releasing the medical examiner’s autopsy report as the department continues to investigate the incident. “… Holding on to facts is meant to keep the investigation from being tainted in any way, shape or form,” Sheriff Villanueva said.
The Guardado family believes that the preliminary findings from the autopsy prove that Andres Guardado’s death “was, without a doubt, the result of unjustified police violence against an innocent young man,” the family’s attorney wrote in a statement.
Villanueva briefly spoke on the independent autopsy report Wednesday, saying, “You have my word this will be a thorough investigation.”
The incident occurred in late June. Deputies claim they saw Guardado, 18, brandishing a gun near a Gardena auto shop where he worked as a security guard. Guardado then ran, and deputies followed and fired six rounds toward him. The Sheriff’s Department reported that Guardado was not in uniform nor wearing a gun belt.
Guardado was not of legal age to be a security guard, as California requires armed guards to be at least 21 years old.
Andrew Haney, the body shop owner who employed Guardado, alleged that deputies destroyed cameras surrounding the shop, according to an interview with L.A. Taco. Haney then said deputies allegedly entered the shop, took the DVR footage and later came with a warrant for the DVR. He also disputed the Sheriff’s report that Guardado was in possession of a handgun.
Andres Guardado: A witness tells LA TACO that the 18-year-old was on his knees and unarmed when an LASD officer killed him. pic.twitter.com/Qh2lAqizmL
— L.A. TACO 🌴🌮 (@LATACO) June 20, 2020
Andres Guardado’s killing happened in the midst of mass protests against police brutality, with Angelenos demanding law enforcement reforms.