The Long Beach (Calif.) Unified School District has agreed to pay $13 million to the family of an 18-year-old woman who was shot to death in 2021 by a school district police officer.
The Long Beach Post reports that the payment will settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Mona Rodriguez. She was riding in the passenger seat of a car near Millikan High School in Long Beach when the officer opened fire on the vehicle and struck her in the head.
The Long Beach district declined to comment on the settlement other than to offer condolences to “everyone who was impacted by this terrible event.”
The officer who shot Rodriguez, Eddie Gonzalez, was fired by the school district and has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting. He is free on bond awaiting trial.
Police say the shooting on Sept. 27, 2021, stemmed from a fight involving Mona Rodriguez and a 15-year-old girl.
Gonzalez saw the fight and pulled over, according to authorities. Videos posted on social media show Gonzalez helped break up the fight and then walked up to a gray sedan that was stopped in a shopping center driveway about a block north of the high school campus.
Gonzalez can be seen standing by the car’s passenger-side front window when it lurches forward and closer to him at the same time, tires screeching. As the car pulls away, Gonzalez fired at it.
Rodriguez was wounded and was on life support for two days before she was declared dead.
Gonzalez was hired by the school district with only limited experience in law enforcement.