An independent autopsy reveals Andres Guardado, the teenager whose death on June 18 sparked an outcry across Los Angeles, was shot five times in the back and died of gunshot wounds to the trunk, according to lawyers for his family.
Guardado also suffered a graze abrasion to his left forearm with a forward trajectory and he did not have drugs or alcohol in his system, according to the independent report.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies opened fire on Guardado, 18, in mid-June after they say he produced a handgun, looked at the deputies and ran from them. Attorneys representing the Guardado family have disputed those claims.
The deputy who shot and killed Guardado has not yet been interviewed, but is scheduled to do so, Commander Chris Marks of LA County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) said at a press conference Wednesday.
“We’re on his timetable,” Marks said, explaining that statements from the deputies are voluntary.
The deputy who did not fire at Guardado has been interviewed. Both deputies are still employed by LASD, according to Marks.
The family has complained about a lack of transparency and information from the sheriff’s department, which put a “security hold” on Guardado’s autopsy report from the county medical examiner. The hold means it could be some time before results are released to the public.
The LASD is aware of the independent autopsy, Marks said, adding the department had not yet been notified by the county medical examiner that its autopsy has been completed.
Homicide investigators had requested the security hold on that autopsy until all interviews have been completed, Marks said.
Cameras retrieved from the scene did not contain video of the shooting, Marks said.
The family, seeking answers to Guardado’s death, hired forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu to perform the second autopsy.
“It has been 20 days since Andres was tragically gunned down by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy,” said attorney Nicholas Yoka. “We are once again imploring the Sheriff’s Department to step forward, release the Medical Examiner’s autopsy report and do the right thing by this family.”
Cristobal and Elisa Guardado, parents of Andres’ parents, urged the sheriff’s department to release the security hold on the autopsy report and provide other evidence in the case.
“Our son did not deserve to die this way,” they said in a statement. “We understand that there is still a long way to go, but we are going to continue to keep fighting for justice for Andres. We want to ensure that other families do not have to suffer as we have.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been briefed on the matter by investigators and are monitoring the investigation, Marks said.