The parents of an 18-year-old man who was shot dead by a Los Angeles County sheriff's MP near Gardena in June have sued the county. They alleged the attorney used inappropriate violence and that he and his partner had "potential connections" to an internal Los Gang in the Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Elisa and Cristobal Guardado filed the unlawful death / civil rights lawsuit in the Los Angeles Supreme Court on Monday in connection with the death of their son, 18-year-old Andres Guardado. The lawsuit also names defendants Miguel Vega and Chris Hernandez as defendants and seeks unspecified damages.
A LASD representative could not be reached immediately for comment.
Guardado was shot dead on June 18 in a car dealership on Redondo Beach Boulevard where he was suitably working as a security guard. Sheriff's officials say Guardado was not licensed to work as a security guard in California and was not wearing clothing that would indicate such work.
Vega and Hernandez arrived at the dealership and "immediately drew their weapons in a demonstration of unreasonable and excessive violence and chased Andres down an alley in violation of the defendants' policies and procedures," the lawsuit said.
The complaint also alleges that Vega fired six shots at Guardado without provocation, five of which hit him in the back.
Guardado "never posed a risk" to MPs and they had no reason to believe he had committed a crime, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit also alleges that the LASD knew that Vega and his partner were unable to perform the duties of a police officer and that each had used unjustified excessive force in the past, including improperly unloading their firearms.
The lawsuit alleges that the LASD and Sheriff Alex Villanueva knew of deputy gangs within the sheriff's department and knew that the MPs involved had "possible connections" to at least one of those gangs, including the executioners and the 3,000 boys.
Guardado's death deprived his parents of his lifelong love and affection, as evidenced by the lawsuit, in which unspecified claims for damages and punitive damages are asserted.
Sheriff's officers said the patrolmen were on site in a marked vehicle and saw Guardado speak to someone in a car blocking the entrance to a body shop. Investigators claim Guardado pulled out a pistol and then ran. MPs followed him and caught up with him in an alley where the shooting took place.
Sheriff's officials said a weapon was discovered at the scene – an unregistered 40-caliber semi-automatic pistol with a polymer frame and no serial number, a Smith & Wesson slide and a banned Glock magazine. Officials have said there is no evidence Guardado fired any shots.
A criminal investigation into the shooting is ongoing and the results will not be released until they are presented to the Los Angeles District Attorney for review, sheriff officials said. The FBI is also looking into the case.
On Tuesday, the district's board of trustees unanimously voted to order the coroner to conduct an investigation into the death and announced its plan to file a lawsuit against the sheriff's department for allegedly violating state law by disallowing supervision of law enforcement investigations.
The board ordered the district attorney in charge to report on the feasibility of a lawsuit within 10 days.