The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday that Gonzalez, 51, was charged with one count of murder and is currently in police custody. The case remains under investigation by Long Beach police.
He will appear before a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Friday for his arraignment, officials added. It is not immediately clear if he has retained a lawyer.
DA: Eddie Gonzalez Killed Manuela Rodriguez
Rodriguez then entered a car with a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, who police have said “were also involved” in the fight, though their “participation level” is still being investigated.
In a video recorded by an eyewitness, officer Eddie Gonzalez is seen approaching the vehicle — “to prevent them from fleeing,” police later said.
When the car pulls away, two gunshots are heard in the video.
“Gonzalez allegedly fired his handgun at the vehicle, striking Rodriguez,” prosecutors said Wednesday.
She was reportedly taken to Long Beach Medical Center in critical condition, and was taken off life support a week later when her outlook did not improve.
“We must hold accountable the people we have placed in positions of trust to protect us,” District Attorney Gascón said in a written statement. “That is especially true for the armed personnel we traditionally have relied upon to guard our children on their way to and from and at school.
Family Wants ‘Justice’
“This guy has no business carrying a badge and a gun,” said Luis A. Carrillo, an attorney for Rodriguez’s family said earlier this month. “He shot an unarmed 18-year-old girl without justification.”
Carillo also noted that Gonzalez violated Long Beach Unified School District policy, which states that safety officers “shall not fire at a moving vehicle.”
The district later confirmed that its policy prohibits safety officers from “firing at someone who is fleeing, or shooting at a moving car, unless it’s a last resort for self-defense.”
After the shooting, Long Beach school superintendent Jill A. Baker told parents and staff in a letter that Gonzalez — who was employed by the district, and not a police department — would be “held accountable to the established standards in [his] profession.”
Gonzalez was placed on administrative leave and later fired, NBC reported.
Oscar Rodriguez, Manuela’s brother, told reporters last month he hoped to see the officer arrested.
“All I want is for [Gonzalez] to see what justice feels like,” he said.
Family Mourns Manuela Rodriguez
Manuela Rodriguez leaves behind a 5-month-old son named Isael, family members have said. She is also survived by her mother, four brothers and one sister.
“We were six, now we’re five,” said her brother Iran Rodriguez of his siblings.
In a GoFundMe page set up to assist the family with funeral costs, a family member wrote that Manuela — who loved ones called Mona — “had her entire life ahead of her” when she was shot and killed.
“She was smart, beautiful, loving, and anyone who knew her knew how big her heart was, how full of life she was and how much she loved her family — but most especially her son, who was her entire life, pride and joy,” the unnamed family member wrote.
As of Thursday, the fund drive has raised $36,000 of its $50,000 goal.