FREMONT (KRON) - The Alameda County District Attorney has cleared two Fremont police officers in the shooting death of a pregnant 16-year-old girl.
On Thursday, KRON4's Justine Waldman talked with the teen's family about that decision.
The DA determined that the evidence does not justify criminal charges for the two Fremont police officers.
And the officers are back at work.
The victim's family tells KRON4 it is all a hard pill to swallow.
"Every day seems like it is unbelievable still," Miguel Minjares said.
On Mar. 14, 2017, Fremont police officers shot and killed 16-year-old Elena Mondragon.
Her uncle tells KRON4 Elena was pregnant, in her first trimester, and the Alameda County District Attorney's call not to charge the officers provokes the family's pain.
“From my understanding, there were seven shots and my niece took five of them,” Minjares said.
The day she died was a warm spring day. Elena and three others were swimming in a pool at an apartment complex near Cal State East Bay in Hayward.
When they got in a car to leave, Fremont police, on an undercover sting, were after the driver, who was wanted for several violent armed robberies across the Bay Area.
The report states that instead of stopping, the driver backed up the stolen BMW and then accelerated toward police.
Police fired their rifles, but they missed the driver, and instead, shot Elena.
“Sure people are going to say she shouldn't have been there," Minjares said. "Granted, maybe that is true, but that is not a life sentence that doesn't make it OK.”
In investigating the officer's actions, the district attorney's report called Elena's death unintended and tragic.
But the officers involved, Sgt. Jeremy Miskella and Det. Joel Hernandez, feared for their lives and acted in self-defense and in defense of the law.
And there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.
“Sadly enough, it was surprising and not surprising," Minjares said. "Police are getting away with this kind of stuff.”
Elena's grieving family wishes the officers had handled that deadly day differently.
“At what point did we not decide to not get them while they were in the pool and wait until they were in the car?” Minjares said.
Despite no criminal charges, they want the officers held accountable for killing their loved one.
“At the very least, negligence and irresponsibility," Minjares said. "Obviously, we are going through a lot of pain, emotional pain and heartache, but as a society and a community, we should be concerned about this."
Mijares tells KRON4 Elena was a good kid, who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The family plans to hold a vigil in Hayward on the one-year mark of Elena's death.
They are also considering other legal options against the Fremont Police Department.
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