A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy fired six shots at 18-year-old Andres Guardado following a short foot pursuit, killing him near a car-related business near Gardena where he hung out and volunteered his time to stop potential taggers, authorities said Saturday.
But Sheriff’s investigators said they have not obtained any video evidence of the incident and, though they said Guardado was armed, it was still unknown whether Guardado pointed that weapon at deputies when he was confronted at the rear of the businesses at 420 West Redondo Beach Boulevard in unincorporated Los Angeles County near Harbor Gateway on Thursday, June 18, Capt. Kent Wegener said.
Sheriff’s officials shared few additional details of the fatal confrontation during a news conference Saturday, a day after family and friends held a press conference at the scene of the shooting demanding justice.
Guardado’s family has asked for an independent investigation into the shooting. In a statement Saturday, County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas also called for an “immediate and independent investigation” by the Office of the Inspector General.
But Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, while he is always willing to call in the Inspector General, it was premature given the department was still in the early stages of its investigation.
Instead, he said the incident illustrates the importance of body-worn cameras, which the agency does not yet have.
“Had the Board of Supervisors acted on this when I was first in office … this would not be the news it needed to be today because the deputies would have had them and we would have had more evidence to draw from,” Villanueva said.
Wegener said the department is working to obtain web-based video from a third party vendor, described as an alarm company, that provides services to the scene.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday, two Compton Station deputies were on patrol when they observed Guardado, a Los Angeles resident, talking to someone in a…