The Los Angeles County coroner’s office on Friday confirmed that Andres Guardado, the teenager whose death on June 18 sparked outcry across Los Angeles, was shot five times in the back.
The office came to the same conclusion as an independent autopsy that lawyers for the Guardado family unveiled earlier this week. The manner of death was certified as homicide.
The Guardado family has complained about a lack of transparency and information from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which put a “security hold” on Guardado’s autopsy report from the county medical examiner.
In an unusual move, Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas decided to lift the hold.
“After careful thought and deliberation, I am releasing the autopsy report of Andres Guardado Pineda,” Lucas said in a statement. “In doing so, I have given careful consideration to the major variables in this case — supporting the administration of justice, as well as the public’s right to know.”
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the coroner’s release of the autopsy breaks protocol and could jeopardize the investigation into Guardado’s death.
“This move will now force the Sheriff’s Department to use court orders to enforce security holds that exist for only one purpose — to prevent tainting witness testimony prior to interviews,” the sheriff said in a statement.
Sheriff’s deputies opened fire on Guardado, 18, in mid-June after they say he produced a handgun, looked at the deputies and ran from them. Attorneys representing the Guardado family have disputed those claims.
The deputy who shot and killed Guardado has not yet been interviewed but is scheduled to do so, Chris Marks, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), said at a press conference Wednesday.
“We’re on his timetable,” Marks said, adding that statements from the deputies are voluntary.
The deputy who did not fire at Guardado has been interviewed. Both deputies are still employed by LASD, according to Marks.
Homicide investigators had requested the security hold on the autopsy until all interviews have been completed, Marks said.
Cameras retrieved from the scene did not contain video of the shooting, Marks said.
The family hired forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu to perform the second autopsy.
Guardado also suffered a graze abrasion to his left forearm with a forward trajectory and he did not have drugs or alcohol in his system, according to the independent report.
Andres Guardado’s parents, Cristobal and Elisa Guardado, have urged the sheriff’s department to provide other evidence in the case.
“Our son did not deserve to die this way,” they said in a statement. “We understand that there is still a long way to go, but we are going to continue to keep fighting for justice for Andres. We want to ensure that other families do not have to suffer as we have.”
CNN has reached out to Guardado’s family for comment on the official autopsy.