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Independent autopsy finds teen Andres Guardado was shot 5 times in the back by deputy

Independent autopsy released in teen's death
Independent autopsy released in teen's death 00:54

An independent autopsy of Latino teen Andres Guardado revealed Wednesday that he was shot five times in the back by an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy last month. The findings of the initial autopsy by the L.A. County Medical Examiner has not yet been released by the sheriff's department. 

Guardado, 18, was fatally shot on June 18 after L.A. County deputies said they spotted him with a gun in front of an auto body shop and he tried to run away. The law firm representing his family released the results from the autopsy report that was conducted independently by forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu on June 26. 

According to the autopsy, he had five bullet wounds in his back and a graze abrasion on his left forearm.  

"It has been 20 days since Andres was tragically gunned down by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy," one of the family's attorneys, Nicholas Yoka, said in a statement. "We are once again imploring the Sheriff's Department to step forward, release the Medical Examiner's autopsy report and do the right thing by this family."

Andres Guardado Guardado Family

Guardado's parents released a statement reacting to the results, saying their son "did not deserve to die this way." 

"These findings confirm what we have known all along, which is that Andres was unjustifiably killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy. Andres was a good boy, he was our son and he had so much life ahead of him." 

"We will not rest, however, until Andres gets justice," his parents added. 

Forensic toxicology results also found he had no alcohol or drugs in his system.

Last month, deputies saw Guardado had a gun and that prompted him to run away, said Captain Kent Wegener, the head of the department's Homicide Bureau. Two deputies chased him on foot and one of them opened fire, striking him six times. Investigators do not believe Guardado fired his gun, Wegener said.

Guardado's family said the teen was working as an informal security guard at the auto body shop, CBS Los Angeles reported. However, the sheriff's department said he wasn't licensed for such a job in the state of California, which requires security guards to be at least 21. 

Deputies recovered an unregistered firearm loaded with a large-capacity magazine, according to the department. In a June 30 news conference, a family attorney said the teen didn't own or have access to a gun. 

L.A. County deputies do not wear body cameras. 

The officer who fired the shots at Guardado was identified as Deputy Miguel Vega. Vega's attorney, Adam Marangell, issued a statement to CBS News on his behalf saying the autopsy's findings "do not alter in any way the ultimate fact that Deputy Vega acted properly and lawfully."

"We look forward to the true facts being made officially known at the appropriate time," said Marangell, who is also the general counsel for the L.A. Sheriff's Professional Association. 

Marangell said when deputies stopped Guardado and tried to handcuff him, the teen "unmistakably" tried to grab his firearm. "At this point Deputy Vega had no choice but to redraw his weapon and fire in self-defense," Marangell said. 

L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on June 29 that his investigators are still following leads from potential witnesses and cannot release reports until those are done, CBS Los Angeles reported. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to pursue an independent review of the investigation, the station reported last month. 

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