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Cell phone video captured the harrowing moment a teenage mother from California was shot in the back of the head by a school safety officer, leaving her brain dead.
Mona Rodriguez, 18, is not expected to survive, according to her family, who are pleading with the hospital where she is being treated to keep her on life support.
Rodriguez, who has a five-month-old son, was shot as she drove away from the scene near Millikan High School in Long Beach on Monday.
That afternoon, Rodriguez had gotten into a fight with a 15-year-old girl.
She was struck by a bullet while leaving the school in a car with the father of her child, Rafeul Chowdhury, 20, and his 16-year-old brother. None of the people in the car were students at the school.
Chowdhury and his younger brother are currently being investigated for their alleged involvement in the fight, police told KTLA.
The moment a teenage mother was shot in the back of the head by a school safety officer, leaving her brain dead, has been captured by cell phone video
Mona Rodriguez, a teenage mother, has been left brain dead after being shot in the back of the head by a school safety officer as she tried to flee a fight
The 18-year-old student is on life support and is not expected to survive, according to her family
Video shows the officer fire two shots at the car, which nearly hits him as it speeds out of the parking lot. Chowdhury was driving the vehicle.
Long Beach Police are investigating the officer's use of lethal force. The school safety officer, who has not been named, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Superintendent Jill Baker told KTLA that safety officers are 'highly trained and held accountable to the established standards in their profession.'
Rodriguez's relatives gathered outside Long Beach Memorial Medical Center for a candlelight vigil on Wednesday night after learning that doctors planned to take the gravely injured woman off life support.
'They're trying to take my sister away,' said Oscar Rodriguez, Mona's brother. 'At first they had told me that I would be able to make the decision, and now they're taking that from me.'
Alex Cervantes, Mona's cousin, told reported she did not deserve to get shot.
'She might have been doing something she wasn't supposed to, but she was unarmed,' he said.
Luis Carrillo, a family attorney, called on prosecutors to bring charges against the officer who shot Rodriguez.
'This officer should be in jail right now,' he said at the vigil. 'The mother is suffering, every family member and friend is suffering.'
A bullet hole is seen in the rear window of a silver sedan that was carrying Rodriguez, her boyfriend and his brother on Monday
Rodriguez's family are demanding that Long Beach Memorial Medical Center keep her on life support
Family and friends held a candlelight vigil outside Long Beach Memorial Medical Center on Wednesday night
Oscar Rodriguez, Mona's brother, said hospital officials had previously told him he would be able to make the decision whether to pull the plug on his sister
Speaking outside the school on Wednesday afternoon, Chowdhury told reporters that the officer had threatened his girlfriend and the 15-year-old girl she had been fighting with pepper spray.
He claimed that the girls stopped fighting, and that the officer did not warn them he would use his gun before firing.
'All we did is just got in the car and left,' Chowdhury said. 'He never told us to stop anytime soon, and the way he shot us, it wasn't right.'
KTLA reported that Chowdhury added that he and Rodriguez had been trying to have a child for some time.
'Now we do, and she [Rodriguez]'s gone,' he said. 'I just got to step up now and play the mother and the father role, and keep my son strong.'
Civil rights activist Najee Ali also spoke outside the school on Wednesday.
'There's no excuse, no justification for this officer shooting in the rear passenger-side window of a car with a woman who's unarmed. Everyone in the car was unarmed,' he said.
Rafeul Chowdhury, the father of Rodriguez's child, told reporters that the officer had not warned before firing his weapon. Pictured: Chowdhury (left) with civil rights activist Najee Ali
Long Beach Police are investigating the officer's use of legal force and the school safety officer, who has not been named, has been placed on leave. Pictured: Millikan High School where the shooting took place
'The fact is, he shot at someone in the passenger seat with no regard for anyone's life in the car.'
'The only way we stop these safety officers from shooting unarmed people and killing them is by having them prosecuted and held accountable for what they've done wrong to members of the community.'
The family have launched up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral and legal expenses, and to help support Rodriguez's son.
'Mona is leaving behind her mom, 4 brothers, and her sister but most importantly she's leaving behind her 5 month old baby boy Isael', the page reads.
'She was smart, beautiful, loving and anyone who knew her knew how big her heart was, how full of life she was and how much she loved her family but most especially her son who was her entire life, pride and joy,' Yessica Loza, Rodriguez's cousin wrote on the page.
'We are all heart broken and in pain never did we imagine we would loose[sic] her like this or so soon she had her entire life ahead of her and because of a careless act done by a school safety guard a 5 month old baby boy was left without a mother and we all lost someone we loved so much.'