LA Sheriff Deputy Shot Security Guard Five Times in Back, Autopsy Determines
It became obvious the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department had something to hide after they shot and killed a security guard last month, then proceeded to remove all the cameras in the area, only to later claim none of them recorded anything.
The coverup became even more obvious when the sheriff's department performed an autopsy on Andres Guardado last month but refused to make the results public, claiming it had to place a "security hold" on the results to not jeopardize the investigation (or the coverup apparently).
But now an independent autopsy paid for by Guardado's family determined the 18-year-old man was shot five times in the back which abides with statements from witness that he was shot in the back while kneeling with his hands in the air.
It also explains why the sheriff's department has not been very forthcoming and transparent about the shooting, which took place on June 18 at about 6 p.m. in front of the auto shop that employed Guardado.
The deputy who fired the shots, Miguel Vega, has been disciplined in the past for making false statements and investigated for using excessive force. The other deputy, Chris Hernandez, did not fire his gun.
Deputies claim they pulled up to the body shop he worked because a car was blocking the entrance. They say Guardado "produced a handgun" and ran away which is when they gave chase.
He was chased into an alley where witnesses say he got down on his knees and raised his arms but was shot to death anyway.
Vega's attorney told local media the deputy "had no choice" but to kill Guardano because the teen reached for a gun.
"Suddenly and in direct contravention to these commands, Mr. Guardado clearly and unmistakably tried to grab the firearm. At this point, Deputy Vega had no choice but to redraw his weapon and fire in self-defense," Vega's attorney told ABC 7.
Deputies say Guardado was not a registered security guard with the state of California and was not wearing a uniform.
Deputies also say the gun was "devoid of any identifying marks or serial numbers" but Guardado's family believe the gun was planted because they had never known him to carry a gun. And neither did the man who ran the auto shop who employed him as a security guard.
Also, a man who said he witnessed part of the shooting said that deputies picked up the gun about 50 feet from where Guardado was shot. If this is true, then there is no way Vega's story is accurate.
Ayodele Titilayo made his comments last month on a Facebook thread of an article about the shooting. We reached out to him for further comment but it does not appear as if he has seen the message on Facebook because we are not friends.
After the shooting and even before obtaining a warrant, the deputies began seizing all the surveillance cameras in the area, according to Alex Haney, manager of the auto shop who had hired Guardado.
Haney said he did not witness the shooting but spoke to witnesses who told him Guardado was speaking to friends in a car when two Los Angeles sheriff's deputies pulled up with their guns out, prompting him to run.
"We had someone keeping an eye on the front because we've been having people tagging up recently and stuff like that, and the police apparently came up and pulled a gun on him, and he got scared and ran," Haney told ABC 7 last month.
In a video interview from last month that can be viewed above, Haney said the deputies chased him into an alley where Guardado got down on his knees with his hands in the air. That was when one of the deputies shot him in the back.
Haney said the deputies then began "destroying" the cameras in the area, between six to eight in all. They also seized the DVR which Haney said contains the footage.
Sheriff's deputies said none of the cameras contained memory cards which was why they have no footage. But Haney said the footage is in the DVR which has not been returned to him.
Neither deputy was wearing a body camera because Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva never fulfilled his campaign promise to implement body cameras in the department despite having been in office 19 months.
And neither deputy has given a statement yet even though it's been three weeks since the shooting.
It has been speculated the deputies were associating Guardado with a shooting that took place a week earlier at that same location but deputies have not conformed that. That shooting was reportedly unrelated to Guardado or the auto shop.