The LA County coroner’s office has released the autopsy report of the 18-year-old security guard who was shot dead by police last month – despite the sheriff’s department’s ‘security hold’ on the findings.
Andres Guardado Pineda died on June 18 from ‘multiple gunshot wounds’ after he was shot five times in the back, according to the report released on Friday.
All five shots were determined to be fatal and the report showed he also suffered two graze wounds to his arm. His death was ruled a homicide.
The report comes after the teen’s family on Wednesday released the results of an independent autopsy which showed similar findings.
Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr Jonathan Lucas on Friday lifted the security hold, defying the LASD’s order, citing a matter of public interest.
LA County coroner’s office has released the autopsy report for Andres Guardado Pineda, 18, defying the LA Sheriff’s Department’s ‘security hold’ on the findings
An independent autopsy (right) found he was shot in the back five times and the fatal wound was in his trunk. He sustained a graze to his left forearm with a forward trajectory
‘After careful thought and deliberation, I am releasing the autopsy report of Andres Guardado Pineda. In doing so, I have given careful consideration to the major variables in this case – supporting the administration of justice, as well as the public’s right to know,’ Dr Lucas said in a statement.
‘I do not believe that these are mutually exclusive ideals. Both are important, particularly amid the ongoing national discussion about race, policing and civil rights. I believe that government can do its part by being more timely and more transparent in sharing information that the public demands and has a right to see.’
Guardado was shot dead outside an auto repair shop in Gardena, where he worked security – at the hands of LA County Sheriff’s Deputy Miguel Vega.
Police say Guardado was shot when he fled from an auto repair shop after he ‘produced a handgun’, however his family has denied he was armed.
The LA County Board of Supervisors last month called for an independent investigation into the incident, but Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas noted there was a ‘trend’ for the sheriff’s department to not cooperate in independent investigations.
The LA County coroner’s report ruled Guardado’s death a homicide. All five shots were determined to be fatal and the report showed he also suffered two graze wounds to his arm. His death was ruled a homicide.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva later said the department intended to release reports of their investigation, but refused to make anything public until the probe was complete.
On Friday, Ridley Thomas praised the coroner’s office for its decision to release the autopsy report, CBS LA reported.
Andres Guardado, 18 (pictured), from Los Gardena, California, was shot and killed by deputies at around 6pm on June 18 outside the autobody shop where he was employed
‘I commend the Coroner for upholding the autonomy and integrity of his office by releasing the autopsy report of Andres Guardado, despite attempts to block its release,’ he said in a statement.
According to the sheriff’s department, officers were on a routine patrol when they approached Guardado and saw he had a gun.
Guardado’s weapon was an unregistered, illegal hunting device, it said.
No video footage of the June 18 incident has emerged.
The family said the preliminary findings ‘confirm what we have known all along’.
‘Andres was unjustifiably killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy,’ they said in a statement.
The family lawyer also revealed that Guardado sustained a graze to his left forearm with a forward trajectory.
Preliminary forensic toxicology also revealed that the teenager didn’t have any drugs or alcohol in his system.
Attorney Adam Shea did not release the full report. Shea did release an image showing the five bullet wounds in Guardado’s back, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Shea has called for the LA County Coroner’s report to be released from ‘security hold’ as he too claimed that killing was ‘the result of unjustified police violence against an innocent young man.’
Guardado’s sister, Jennifer Guardado (above) has urged officials to further examine the circumstances leading up to her sibling’s death in Gardena last month
‘Andres was a good boy, he was our son and he had so much life ahead of him. Our son did not deserve to die this way,’ Cristobal and Elisa Guardado said in the statement.
The killing of Guardado – whose heritage is Salvadoran – prompted more protests amid country-wide demonstrations against police brutality.
The Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission and its investigative arm, the Office of Inspector General, told the Los Angeles Times that the sheriff’s department refused to hand over vital documents they asked for last month.
Inspector General Max Huntsman told the Times that his office had called on the department to hand over reports, documents and video relating to the shooting death of Guardado.
He said that the documents have not yet been received.
‘We’re not gonna piecemeal it,’ Sheriff Villanueva said, stating that he would supply information when it was possible.
‘If you’re still interviewing witnesses, you don’t release information that’s gonna prejudice the testimony of the witness,’ he said, adding that a ‘security hold’ had been placed on the results of Guardado’s autopsy as a result of the witness interviews.