Gardena man fatally shot by deputy was armed with an illegal handgun, sheriff’s officials say

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Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Saturday, a Gardena man shot by a deputy this week was armed with an illegal handgun, but has not provided details about what prompted the shooting that resulted in the death of the man.Speaking at a late afternoon news conference, the Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters that investigators were still gathering evidence and that it was too early to say exactly what led to the shooting of Andres Guardado, 18, who family members said worked as a security guard. He also urged the public not to buy into the conspiracy theories spread on social media.

The sheriff promised a thorough investigation and urged the public to “wait until all the facts are known before making judgments.

“Sometimes it’s going to be maddeningly slow, as today, within 24 hours, the cycle of information, everyone wants information immediately,” Villanueva said. “But you have to remember what happened not even 48 hours. Thus, the process has begun.”

Guardado was shot at about 6 a.m. Thursday after a confrontation with deputies at 420 West Redondo Beach Blvd., said Captain Kent Wegener of the homicide bureau. He had been chatting with someone in a car that was blocking the location where the deputies from the Compton sheriff’s station pulled up, Wegener said.

He fled, holding a gun, with two deputies in pursuit on foot, Wegener said. One of the members confronted him and opened fire, striking him in the upper torso, ” he said. Authorities have said they do not know if Guardado had pointed his weapon at the deputy.

Guardado was shot six times, Wegener said. He was declared dead on the scene.

Andres Guardado, 18, was attending Los Angeles Trade-Technical College to become a mechanic or electrician, his family said.( Guardado family)

His family has said Guardado had worked as a security guard for the Street, Dynamic, Body, near the place where he was shot.

Wegener said Guardado was under 21 years of age required to be a security guard in California. He stated that the victim was not wearing a gunbelt, uniform, or marked clothing, and that the caliber .40 semi-automatic pistol he was carrying was not licensed.

The weapon with a polymer frame does not have a serial number, Wegener said, but he had an extended magazine with 15 bullets, “larger than allowed” with 13 live rounds loaded. Authorities have not said if Guardado fired all the shots.

The detectives of Homicide do not have any video of the shooting, Wegener said, and they are still working to get images of the scene from a third-party provider operating a web based system. An autopsy is expected to be completed in a period of a few days.

During this time, members of the family and officials said they believe the shooting was not justified, the pressure on the Sheriff’s Department answers. Women in this assembly, Nanette Barragan and Maxine Waters and the Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on Saturday called for independent investigations, including one conducted by state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra.

“Another day, and another Black or brown child was shot in the back by the police,” Barragán and Water, said in a joint statement. “These killings must stop… We demand answers and call for an independent investigation into this tragic death. There must be full transparency so that the public can have confidence in the investigation and we know that we are of the truth.”

Barragán and the Waters criticised the mps for not wearing the body cameras — equipment that, according to Villanueva, it has been requested since December 2018 — its first month on the job. He blamed the delay on a lack of support from the Board of Supervisors.

During the press conference, the sheriff Car. Chris Marks said officials are close to awarding a contract for body cameras that will be provided for 5 200 uniformed deputies working in the patrol jobs.

On Friday, Jennifer Guardado fought tears near the auto body shop, where his brother was killed. In one hand, Guardado, 22 years old, has held a white rose and a black baseball cap. In the other, a sign with a picture of his brother.

“This is not fair,” she said. “I need justice. He was a good man…. He was going to do and become a good professional man in life, but they have taken away from my family. My parents are completely destroyed…. I didn’t even say goodbye to him.”

Guardado’s uncle Noe Abarca, 47-year-old, who was also on the scene Friday, said Guardado was a good man who worked two jobs as a security guard and attend Los Angeles Trade-Technical College to become a mechanic or electrician. It has also been considering joining the Army, and has only recently started to work in the Dynamic Street of the Body.

“He had no history of trouble,” Abarca said. “He was never in custody” and has recently bought a new car.

“We were proud of him,” he said.

The owner of a nearby auto body shop said he was shocked by the murder. He said Guardado has worked as a security officer at his shop and has been a good employee with a clean criminal record.

“We had security at the front because we had some problems with people tagging and stuff like that, and then the police come and they pull their weapons on him, and he ran because he was scared and they shot and killed him,” Andrew Heney told KCAL-TV Channel 9.

Times staff writer Dorany Pineda contributed to this story.

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