January 1, 1968
October 4, 2017
Age at Death:
Ms. Guardiola was a Williamsburg native. She has an adult son who shared that she was born in New York City in 1968 -- the proud daughter of Puerto Rican parents. She worked hard to create a happy life and home for his sister Alysa and I. She was a law enforcement officer for nearly 20 years. She worked as a correction officer and worked her way up to correction captain for the NYC Department of Correction, a court officer for the NYS unified court system, and as a parole officer for the NYS Department of correctional services at the time of her death. Ms. Guardiola moved to Canandaigua to be with nature. Soon after she moved, she got into a car accident that left her with a concussion and with multiple broken ribs. She was bedridden at the time of her death.
Ms. Guardiola, a New York State Parole officer, was on an approved medical leave for 4 weeks after a car accident. On October 4, 2017, a former supervisor of Ms. Guardiola from the New York State division of parole called 911 falsely claiming that she had not been heard from for weeks. The call to 911 prompted two emergency response vehicles to station themselves across the street from Ms. Guardiola’s apartment complex as an officer conducted a wellness check. The officer did not attempt to conduct his own verification or assessment of Ms. Guardiola's well being prior to obtaining a key fob from the apartment management. The officer reportedly knocked, got no response, and used the key to enter her apartment. The officer says he drew his weapon and shot her three times in self defense because he said Ms. Guardiola drew her weapon against him first - her firearm did show it discharged. A forensic expert stated the gunshot wound pathology is inconsistent with the claim she was aiming a firearm at the officer, posing a threat. The other stunning fact was the officer handcuffed her after he shot her. The emergency response personnel were later cleared to respond to her home, but only after Sandy Guardiola had been shot.
Was justice served?
No. In 2018, the police department deemed the officer's actions as justified, and her family filed a $50M lawsuit against the city, the police department, the Parole Office, and multiple property management companies, alleging wrongful death while also challenging the existing policy related to wellness checks. As of 12/08/20, a federal judge questioned the facts of the lawsuit. At issue was the reasoning behind why the police determined it was an "emergency" situation to force enter Ms. Guardiola's apartment without attempting to reach her, and hear back from her. Prior cases have required "evidence of distress" to be in place prior to entering a dwelling for a wellness check. No "imminent danger" evidence was provided. There is also conflict in the recount by the officer versus the forensic data provided. The family settled out of court with the apartment management company.