By 2UrbanGirls, Contributing Writer
SOUTH LOS ANGELES — The auto repair shop where an 18-year-old security guard was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies in June has a well-documented history of criminal activity spanning at least five years.
According to Sheriff’s Cmdr. Chris Marks, the shop was the scene of a shooting 11 days prior to Andres Guardado’s death.
Marks spoke at a morning press conference Aug. 12 to provide background on the ongoing criminal activity at 420 W. Redondo Beach Blvd. where Guardado worked as an unlicensed security guard.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said his department is taking its time in conducting multiple investigations related to Guardado’s shooting.
“Since January 1, 2015, there have been 23 calls for service received at 420 W. Redondo Beach Blvd,” Marks said. “These calls include 10 disturbances, two burglaries, two batteries and two vandalism calls.”
A gang related murder occurred at the location on Nov. 2, 2018, which remains unsolved.
On June 7 this year, deputies were called to the location where they found a male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso. A trail of blood was traced from the victim to the interior of the repair shop where tanks of nitrous oxide were discovered.
On June 9, deputies conducted a traffic stop for a vehicle blocking the driveway of the repair shop. After approaching the car, they smelled marijuana and detained the car’s two occupants, recovering narcotics and an unregistered firearm. Both occupants were arrested.
On June 11, deputies approached another vehicle parked in the red zone and arrested an occupant for possession of methamphetamine.
Deputies obtained a video recorder and a search warrant to view the contents of the video, which showed a line of customers with containers in their hand presumed to be purchasing nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas. When inhaled, the gas slows down the body’s reaction time resulting in a calm, euphoric feeling.
On June 18, deputies saw Guardado talking to the occupants of a white Lexus parked in front of the auto repair shop.
According to reports, Guardado ran away as deputies approached. He was shot in a nearby alley and killed. An autopsy report revealed he was shot seven times, five times in the back.
Despite assertions from Guardado’s family that he was working as security guard, neither the building owner or shop manager provided a statement corroborating that claim.
Deputies confirmed Guardado was neither a registered security guard nor old enough to be an armed guard. He had no identifying clothing, gun holster or handcuffs to indicate he was working.
A handgun was recovered that contained Guardado’s fingerprints on both the trigger and magazine clip.
Deputies showed video footage of Guradado talking to occupants in the Lexus, however, investigators have been unable to speak to the occupants and are asking for the public’s help in locating them. The video shows them go into their trunk but due to the proximity of the cameras, viewers are unable to ascertain what was in the trunk and no ability to identify the license plate.
There is no indication that Guardado was connected to the previous shooting, but investigators said the location was a known drug location, to give perspective as to why the deputies were in the area.
Since the June 7, shooting more than five people have been arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation.
Thirteen additional search warrants have been served at multiple locations and several firearms, illegal narcotics and $100,000 in cash have been recovered.
Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, an administrative investigation into the shooting as been put on hold until the criminal investigation is completed.
On Aug. 11, Villanueva announced that two deputies have been dismissed and six others were transferred out of the Compton Sheriff’s Station, but provided no details as to why.
Villanueva also announced the completion of a body camera contract with Axon that will outfit deputies with crucial equipment in order to “restore the public’s trust” with the department. Deputies at five stations will be provided the cameras beginning Oct. 1.