School Cop Who Shot and Killed Manuela ‘Mona’ Rodriguez Charged With Murder

Former Long Beach, California, school resource officer Eddie Gonzalez is being charged with murder after leaving the 18-year-old mother brain-dead.

Oct 28 2021, 3:32pm

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.

The former Long Beach, California, school safety officer who fatally shot an 18-year-old mother as she drove away from the scene of a fight will now face a murder charge.

A single bullet from officer Eddie Gonzalez’s service weapon hit Manuela “Mona” Rodriguez in the head, which left her brain-dead for at least a week before her family decided to take her off life support on Oct. 5. Nearly three weeks later, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has decided to file a murder charge against the 51-year-old former cop.

​​“We must hold accountable the people we have placed in positions of trust to protect us,” District Attorney Gascón said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”

On Sept. 27, Gonzalez was driving in his patrol car toward Millikan High School, where he worked as a school safety officer, when he noticed two girls, Rodriguez and an unidentified 15-year-old, fighting. Hoping to intervene, Gonzalez stopped his car and approached the girls. The officer threatened to use his pepper spray, which broke up the fight. Rodriguez then fled the scene and got into the passenger-side seat of a nearby gray sedan where the father of her 5-month-old son and his 16-year-old brother were waiting.

As the three of them pulled away in the vehicle, Gonzalez pulled out his service weapon and fired at least two shots, according to eyewitnesses. The incident was also caught on cellphone video by bystanders.

“Oh, that’s a real gun,” one onlooker can be heard saying in video after Gonzalez fires his weapon.

Gonzalez was placed on leave after the shooting and the Long Beach Unified School District voted unanimously to terminate him from his job a day after Rodriguez’s death. The district said that the officer violated the district’s use-of-force policy when he fired his weapon at a moving vehicle.

“This is a first step toward justice and hopefully our healing process,” Rodriguez’s brother Oscar Rodriguez told the Los Angeles Times after the district attorney’s announcement. “I’ve waited a long time for something that was pretty obvious, but I guess this is how the justice system works.”

Rodriguez’s family also started a GoFundMe to help support her young son.

Gonzalez is currently being held at Long Beach City Jail on $2 million bail. He’s expected to be arraigned Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.


murder, Long Beach, teen mom, school resource officer, 8:46 News, anuela ‘Mona’ Rodriguez

like this
Cops Accused of Paralyzing Man Who Repeatedly Said, ‘I Can’t Feel My Legs’
911 Call Reveals Off-Duty Cop Says He ‘Had to Shoot’ Jason Walker
A Man Caught Fire After Being Tased. Cops Ran Out of the Room, Video Shows.
Cop Caught on Video Shooting Man in Wheelchair 9 Times From Behind
Ex-NFL Player Glenn Foster Jr. Died in Police Custody and No One Knows Why
Cop Grabs Junior Officer by the Throat After She Pulls Him Away From Suspect
Cops Covered Up Sex Trafficking Ring to Receive Free Sex Acts, Lawsuit Says
Cop Who Killed Breonna Taylor Says It Was ‘Traumatic for Everybody’