An independent investigation must be conducted into the day-time killing of Andres Guardado, an on-duty security guard in the Los Angeles County city of Gardena, by a group of operating under the banner of the Los Angeles County Sheriff.
An armed group acting under the authority of the Los Angeles County Sheriff killed an auto shop security guard in Gardena on June 18th 2020, and family members identified the victim to local TV news media as 18-year-old Andres Guardado.
The LASD destroyed the cameras at the scene, and seized DVR video of the killing illegally, and without a warrant.
The killing occurred in the driveway of the auto shop that Guardado worked it, located at the 400 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard, near South Figueroa Street, at about 5:53 p.m., according to time and address information provided by the sheriff’s department itself.
There are generally two very differing accounts of what is going on, with the armed ‘LASD’ group building a narrative that appears to distort how many of the objective facts of the case would otherwise be understood.
The unofficial LASD story as promoted by local media, is presented a way that alludes to a ‘foot-chase’ scenario.
The LASD claims to media that the deputies ‘gave chase’, and after a ‘short foot pursuit’, and it was here that Guardado was shot by deputies in the upper torso.
“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.”
They did not say how many deputies opened fire on him.
This version of events is at odds with the eye-witness account of Andrew Heney, the owner of the Freeway auto body shop. The actual location of the killing was only four or five meters into drive-way area of the auto shop itself, where the rear alley meets the gates that the shop opens cars to.
Based on the material evidence and the witness account, it appears that a group with arms drawn, chased Guardado further in front of the shop’s rear entrance where other cameras on the main street would not be able to record the fatal incident that ensued.
Afterwards, the armed group would illegally enter the premises of the shop and seize the video recordings.
The fact that the armed group immediately destroyed all of the shop’s cameras raises large concerns about the killing, in particular things which might even work to establish details of their intent. At the present time, it is unknown if the armed group was wearing LASD uniforms, or if all of them were in fact deputies of the department.
The armed group says that deputies were just randomly patrolling in the area when they saw a man flash a gun and then ran south between two businesses.
Andrew Heney, the owner of the Freeway auto body shop, however, told a different version. He also stated that Guardado did not carry a gun. The family of Guardado, 18, (who lived at home) also confirms that he did not possess a gun.
“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.”
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.”
Absent from the LASD account is that one of the two businesses was the very shop that Mr. Guardado worked for, and that the ‘run’ was a mere 15 feet.
The family said LASD investigators removed security camera video along with some of the cameras from businesses in the area that they had first destroyed before the killing happened.
Celina 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.”
The lack of public accountability over this event led to the staging of a demonstration to call for justice.