(CNN) — The shooting death of 18-year-old Andrés Guarded, who was killed after fleeing from sheriff’s deputies at a car shop, will be examined in an official investigation, the first in Los Angeles in more than 30 years.
The Los Angeles County medical examiner called for the investigation “in the interest of public transparency” after questions were raised about officers’ use of force and an autopsy confirmed that Guarded had been shot five times in the back. Retired Court of Appeals Judge Candace Cooper will oversee the judicial investigation into the June 2020 incident.
Guarded was working as an informal security guard at a body shop on the day of the shooting, which came amid weeks of demonstrations over the death of George Floyd. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies chased Guarded after he “pulled out a gun,” looked up at the deputies and ran out the front door of the store, said Captain Kent Wegener of the department’s Homicide Department.
Investigation begins November 30
The coroner will summon witnesses and relevant documents to present them in the investigation, which begins on November 30. Judge Cooper will then make conclusions regarding the circumstances, cause and manner of death, according to a press release.
“The Medical Examiner Department is committed to transparency and providing Los Angeles County residents with an independent evaluation of its findings in this case,” said Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jonathan Lucas.
In conducting the initial investigation into the fatal shooting, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department requested that a security hold be placed on the case, which prevented the autopsy report and cause of death from being released. In an unusual move, Dr. Lucas chose to remove the security hold and release the results of Guarded’s autopsy in July.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has not commented on the investigation.
What the Sheriff’s Department Said
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told CNN in June that release of the autopsy results would damage witness testimony.
Guarded’s family has demanded transparency in his death, Adam Shea, an attorney for the family, said at a news conference at the time.
“I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other mother. My son wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to take care of myself. Who’s going to take care of me now? ”Guarded’s mother, Elisa, said through tears at the time.
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