Mistrial declared for Long Beach school officer charged with shooting woman

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Mistrial declared in Long Beach school officer shooting trial
Jurors were split 7-5 in favor of conviction but told the judge further deliberation would not result in a verdict.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A mistrial was declared Tuesday in the case of a Long Beach school officer charged with murder for shooting an 18-year-old woman in 2021.

Jurors said they deadlocked on the charge of second-degree murder for school security officer Eddie Gonzalez. The jury split 7-5 in favor of conviction after deliberating since Friday.

Jurors told the judge they did not believe further deliberations would break the deadlock. After the judge declared a mistrial, prosecutors could bring the case to trial again. A hearing is scheduled for July.

Gonzalez, who worked for the Long Beach Unified School District, is accused of killing 18-year-old Manuela "Mona" Rodriguez near Millikan High School in 2021 while she was a passenger in a moving vehicle.

Rodriguez was shot on Sept. 27, 2021. Gonzalez was patrolling an area near the school when he noticed an altercation between Rodriguez and a teenage girl, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said the car was driving away from the scene after the fight and Gonzalez tried to stop the vehicle, eventually firing shots at it from behind.

A former Long Beach Unified School District safety officer has been ordered to stand trial on a murder charge stemming from the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old woman last year.

Rodriguez, the mother of a 5-month-old boy, was shot in the head while she was a passenger in the moving vehicle in a parking lot near the school, authorities said. A bystander captured the deadly confrontation on video.

His defense attorney said he made a split-second decision and acted in self-defense but prosecutors said the vehicle did not pose a threat to the guard.