Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies chased and shot dead a security guard at an auto repair shop in Los Angeles on Thursday evening. The deceased individual has now been identified as 18-year-old Andres Guardado.
According to the sheriff's department, deputies saw Guardado, who was working as a security guard at an auto body shop, flash a handgun before running towards two businesses, prompting deputies to pursue the suspect and fatally shoot him in the torso.
"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," the department said in its statement, before adding that a firearm was recovered at the scene devoid of any identifying marks or serial numbers and contained a loaded large-capacity prohibited magazine.
However, Andrew Heney, owner of the Freeway autoshop where Guardado worked, said the teenager ran from the deputies because he was scared for his life and doesn't believe he was carrying a weapon.
"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." Guardado's family members have also disputed the claim that he was armed.
Heney also said that after running from deputies, Guardado got down on his knees and surrendered with his hands behind his head but was still shot seven times in the back.
Destroying Video Evidence
In an interview at the scene of the shooting, Heney revealed that LASD officers had destroyed some of the security cameras at the location that may have recorded the incident and also took possession of the DVR that stores all the video footage filmed by the surveillance cameras.
"This is the first camera they yanked off the wall," Heney said pointing towards one of the broken devices. "They broke it off and took it right off the wall," he said before drawing attention towards another camera that was destroyed.
"They were just trying to be malicious and covering themselves," he added before pointing out that they also seized the DVR, for which they showed a warrant after taking possession of the device.
"They illegally got into everything, then they had the place locked down and then they got the warrant," he said.