EAST LOS ANGELES (KABC) --The family of a man shot more than 17 times by deputies in East Los Angeles has filed a federal lawsuits against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Eduardo Edwin Rodriguez, 29, was the passenger in a van with two others when they were pulled over during a traffic stop in East Los Angeles at about 4 a.m. on Feb. 14.
After stopping the van at Whittier Boulevard and Ferris Avenue, authorities said that when deputies asked Rodriquez to get out of the van, he became combative and resisted arrest.
The sheriff's department said he reached for a .22-caliber handgun and deputies were forced to shoot him.
The coroner said Rodriguez was shot more than 17 times.
Rodriguez's family insisted that he was not armed and announced the lawsuit at a news conference on Olvera Street. The family called for justice.
"I'm just here for him, for his kids. We all miss him a lot and well we're asking for justice, and we don't think it's right what he went through. He shouldn't have suffered the way he did," Rodriquez's girlfriend Stephanie Yanez said.
The family remained adamant that Rodriguez was not armed, but the sheriff's department said a weapon was recovered at the scene by deputies.
"But the point that they shot him. He was 20 to 25 feet away from that arm if it was actually there," family attorney Jorge Gonzalez said.
The sheriff's department said in a statement, "We have not received the lawsuit or had the opportunity to review it. We will reserve comment on pending litigation."