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Murder charge upheld against ex-Long Beach school security officer in death of 18-year-old Mona Rodriguez

Murder charges have been upheld against a former Long Beach school security officer who shot and killed an 18-year-old girl last year while she was seated in a vehicle fleeing the scene of a fight.

Following a preliminary hearing in a Long Beach courtroom on Wednesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Daniel Lowenthal ruled that Eddie Gonzalez, 52, had no reason to believe his life was in danger when he shot into the back of a car and killed Manuela “Mona” Rodriguez last year.

Cellphone video captured at the scene showed Gonzalez fire twice as the car tried to turn away from him, sparking protests and a call for prosecution from Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. The Long Beach Unified School District immediately fired Gonzalez, and Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón filed murder charges a month after the shooting.

“The video … is very clear and very compelling,” Lowenthal said. “It shows him firing two rounds into the back of the car after it had passed.”

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