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Coroner: Andres Guardado, shot by LA sheriff's deputy, was shot 5 times in the back

Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles County coroner's office has determined that Andres Guardado, the 18-year-old killed by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy last month in Gardena, was shot five times in the back, according to the official autopsy report released Friday.

All five gunshot wounds were fatal, the report said. The cause of death was certified on July 7 as multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was certified as homicide, the coroner's office said.

The coroner's office released the document, despite the "security hold" in place by the Sheriff's Department, after the family's attorneys earlier this week released the results of an independent autopsy that drew the same conclusion.

"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," Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Jonathan 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."

There had been growing demands for answers by activists and Guardado's family, who called the shooting unjustified. The Guardado family attorneys said the independent findings showed that Guardado's death was "the result of unjustified police violence against an innocent young man" and called on the Sheriff's Department to release the coroner's report.


The Sheriff's Department has said that Guardado was shot and killed about 6 p.m. June 18, after two deputies saw him speaking to someone in a car blocking the entrance to a body shop on West Redondo Beach Boulevard. Investigators said Guardado "produced a handgun" and ran away and that deputies chased him. When deputies reached him, one fired.

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