Andres Guardado was killed on June 18 after several shots were fired by an assistant to the Los Angeles County Sheriff. An independent autopsy, performed at the request of his family, revealed that the 18-year-old Guardado had been shot five times in the back and died of the gunshot wounds.
Andres’ parents, Cristobal and Elisa Guardado, said the autopsy confirmed “what we have known from the start, that Andres was wrongfully killed by an assistant to the Los Angeles County Sheriff”.
Preliminary forensic toxicology results also revealed that Guardado had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the incident.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has suspended the LA County medical examiner’s official autopsy report while the department’s homicide division is investigating.
Events days followed the murder of Guardado, protesters demanding justice.
“Andres was a good boy, he was our son and he had so much life ahead of him,” his parents said in a statement. “Our son did not deserve to die this way. We understand that there is still a long way to go, but we will continue to fight for justice for Andres. We want to make sure that the other families do not have to suffer as we have. We request that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department release their security check on the autopsy report and any other evidence available to it. We want answers. “
Commander Chris Marks of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said on Wednesday that an official autopsy was necessary while investigators interviewed witnesses so the investigation would not be spoiled.
“We understand the Guardado family’s desire to have answers as soon as possible,” Marks said at a media availability on Wednesday afternoon. “We also accept and understand our obligation to be transparent. At the same time, we are investigating a homicide. All the shootings involving police officers that result in death are in fact only – a homicide investigation. We are committed to bringing together all the facts and very seriously protect the integrity of a homicide investigation. “
Marks said two officers, whom he declined to name, were involved in the incident: one who fired six shots and one who did not fire his gun. The officer who fired no shots was interviewed by investigators, but the officer who fired the shots has not yet done so.
Marks offered few details on the incident, citing the ongoing investigation. The shooting took place in Gardena, California, in the southwest of Los Angeles County.
“What was reported to us on a preliminary basis is that the MPs watched Guardado with a gun. And the gun was recovered from the scene,” he said, adding that there is no indication that Guardado fired shots. The officers were in a marked patrol car and were wearing full uniforms, he said.
The sheriff’s department says it could release the official autopsy report after it completes interviews for its investigation.
But the Guardado family does not want to wait any longer.
“It has been 20 days since Andres was tragically killed by an assistant to the Los Angeles County Sheriff,” lawyer Nicholas Yoka said in a statement. “We again implore the sheriff’s department to go ahead, publish the medical examiner’s autopsy report and do the right thing with this family.”