GARDENA (CBSLA) — An investigation is underway after Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies fatally shot an auto shop security guard in Gardena Thursday evening.
Family members identified the victim to CBSLA as 18-year-old Andres Guardado.
The shooting happened in the 400 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard, near South Figueroa Street, at about 5:53 p.m., according to the sheriff’s department. Deputies patrolling in the area said they saw a man flash a gun and then run south between two businesses.
Andrew Heney, the owner of the Freeway auto body shop, confirmed to CBSLA that Guardado worked as a private security guard for the shop.
“We had a security guard that was out front, because we had just had certain issues with people tagging and stuff like that,” Heney said. “And then the police came up, and they pulled their guns on him and he ran because he was scared, and they shot and killed him. He’s got a clean background and everything. There’s no reason.”
Deputies gave chase, and after a short foot pursuit, Guardado was shot by deputies in the upper torso, LASD said.
“Deputies observed the individual, at which point he observed the deputies,” an LASD spokesperson said Thursday night. “The individual then produced a handgun, and then began running southbound away from the deputies through businesses nearby. Deputies engaged in a short foot pursuit between the two businesses, at some point the deputies contacted the suspect and that’s when the deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
Guardado died at the scene. According to LASD, deputies recovered a gun that was devoid of any identifying marks or serial numbers and contained a loaded large-capacity prohibited magazine.
Deputies also said Guardado was not recognized as licensed security officer by the state of California. The also said he was not wearing any identifiable clothing or a uniform indicating he was working in the capacity of a security guard.
It was unclear how many deputies opened fire on him.
“He was a good man,” Jennifer Guardado, the sister of the victim, said. “He was gonna make it in life. He was gonna make it and become a good, professional man in life, but they took that away from my family and me.
“My parents are completely destroyed. We’re all dead already inside.”
Family members confronted deputies at the scene Thursday night and told reporters they did not believe Guardado was armed.
“I’d never heard or seen him have any kind of weapons,” Celina Avarca, Guardado’s cousin, said. “He never talked about them.”
The family said LASD investigators removed security camera video along with some of the cameras from businesses in the area.
Avarca said Guardado was working two jobs and was trying to become a registered nurse.
“I lost a part of me, it’s empty, and I’m never gonna have him back,” his sister said. “I’m never gonna see him, he’s never gonna talk to me, I’m just, I can’t, I just can’t believe this happened to my brother. It really hurts me.”
This is the second fatal shooting involving LASD deputies in two days.
On Wednesday, deputies fatally shot Terron Jammal Boone, identified by family as the half-brother of 24-year-old Robert Fuller, a black man who was found hanging from a tree last week in Palmdale.