Pepper balls deployed at march over Gardena deputy-involved fatal shooting

Sheriff's deputies and protesters clashed during a demonstration in Compton over the death of an 18-year-old man who was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies last week.
COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Sheriff's deputies and protesters clashed during a demonstration in Compton over the death of an 18-year-old man who was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies last week.

The march and rally over the death of Andres Guardado started out peaceful as dozens of people marched from Gardena, where he was killed, to the sheriff's station in Compton.

But as the demonstration continued in front of the civic complex, a brief clash broke out between protesters and the deputies.

Pepper balls and other nonlethal methods were deployed and protesters were seen running from the scene. Several were being treated for injuries and chemical irritation. At least one protester was seen displaying a red wound on his torso apparently made by a round object.

It wasn't clear what exactly provoked the confrontation. At least one person was taken into custody.

The event was held to demand answers in Guardado's death.

Deputies shot and killed Andres Guardado on Thursday after they say he pulled out a gun and ran from deputies on patrol in the 400 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard on Thursday.

His family said he was working as a security guard in the area, but was too young to be state licensed and did not have a uniform or badge.

Some local political leaders are asking for a state investigation into the shooting.

Protesters marched from the site of the shooting in Gardena to the sheriff's station in Compton. Some called for defunding of the sheriff's department and putting the agency under the control of an elected civilian board.

"Maybe now everyone can see that new training is required," said filmmaker Moctesuma Esparza, who participated in the protest. "And defund the police really means let's create an organization that is really for peace."

Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said he is open to cooperating with an outside investigation but it is too early at this point as the department is still conducting its own investigation. Autopsy results and forensics on the weapon are still pending.

Update: An earlier version of this story said rubber bullets were deployed at the protest. The sheriff's department says it does not use rubber bullets as part of its nonlethal crowd-control tactics. Instead it normally uses foam baton rounds. A department spokesperson says the foam rounds were not deployed in this incident, although some protesters reported getting struck and displayed wounds from some type of nonlethal round.
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