Family of teen shot by detectives to file suit against Fremont police

Michelle Mondragon has her daughter's nickname--"Ebbie"-- tattooed on the upper left part of her chest--near her heart..

For this grieving Antioch mother, it's a constant expression of the love she has for her daughter.             

It's also a heart-wrenching reminder of her loss.

One year has passed since 16-year-old Elena Mondragon was shot and killed by Fremont police, but talking about that horrible night hasn't gotten any easier for the grieving mother. 

"It's crazy, it's too much, '' she said Tuesday as she prepared to file a lawsuit against the Fremont Police Department. "I just can't even wrap my head around what this really means"

She said the pain is made worse by a lack of information from the Fremont Police Department, which she said has never reached out to her since her daughter's killing, or explained what happened.

Authorities have been continually uncooperative with providing information to her Oakland attorney, John Burris, she said.

"It's obvious that something went really wrong,'' she said. 

Elena Mondragon, who was newly pregnant, was shot and killed on the night of March 14, 2017 when Fremont detectives, who were in an un-marked car, and on a stake-out in Hayward, fired shots into a gray sedan as they searched for armed robbery suspects.

Mondragon was in that car and police say they started shooting when the driver of the car rammed into the police car and then sped away.

The teen was hit by at least four bullets and died later at a hospital. The two men and her 17-year-old cousin who were in the car were not injured. 

Fremont police declined comment Tuesday, but said the two officers have been cleared of wrongdoing.

On Wednesday, Burris will file a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of  Michelle Mondragon. 

Burris said the teenager was killed because the Fremont officers engaged in a series of "egregious tactical errors" that went against their training and common sense. 

"There is no justification for shooting into a moving carwith four young people in the car,'' he said. 

Burris said he is also "outraged and disgusted" that the Alameda County District Attorney's office has decided to file charges against the driver of the car, instead of the two Fremont officers.