The U.S. Border Patrol’s account of a fatal shooting in south San Diego, California, has been called into question by witnesses.
Authorities said a plainclothes agent shot 32-year-old Valeria Alvarado after she rammed him with her car Friday while he was serving a warrant.
“The suspect was armed with a vehicle, and literally ran our agent down,” Border Patrol Deputy Chief Rodney Scott told KNSD-TV. “He was carried several hundred yards before he discharged his weapon through the windshield of the vehicle.”
Alvarado, a mother of five, died at the scene. Scott said the unidentified agent was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but did not say whether the subject of the warrant was connected to Alvarado.
But witnesses’ accounts Saturday portray the woman as driving away from the agent.
“He was walking towards the car and the car was moving back slowly,” a nearby resident, Ayanna Evans told XETV-TV. “He pulled his arm up and I heard it, ‘pop pop pop.’”
Another witness, Ashley Guilbeau, told KMFB-TV (Warning: graphic link) she saw the agent walking toward the front of the car shooting “about 12 times” without identifying himself as being part of the Border Patrol.
“Without her even able to say a word — I didn’t hear anything — [he] just came across and just shot at the windshield many times,” Gullbeau said.
A representative of an immigration-related advocacy group, the Southern Border Communities Coalition, told KNSD it will work with Alvarado’s family to make sure the Border Patrol’s investigation of the incident is transparent. On Saturday, her husband, Gilbert Alvarado, issued an angry call for justice.
“Whoever shot my wife, that guy whoever that is, that guy needs to get shot,” he told ABC News.
KNSD’s report, aired Saturday, can be seen below
for video: http://www.cbs8.com/story/19669131/deputy-involved-shooting-in-chula-vista
Border Patrol agent shoots, kills woman in Calif.
From Associated Press
September 29, 2012 1:16 AM EDT
CHULA VISTA, Calif. (AP) — A Border Patrol agent fatally shot a 32-year-old mother of five Friday in suburban San Diego as he rode on the hood of her car after she ran into him, authorities and family members said.
The agent fired after being driven several hundred yards on the hood, Chula Vista police Capt. Gary Wedge told The Associated Press.
The shooting occurred about five miles north of the Mexican border as plainclothes agents were looking to serve a felony warrant in the area to someone other than the woman, Border Patrol Deputy Chief Rodney Scott told U-T San Diego.
Scott said the agent was stuck atop the car as the woman drove.
“Fearing for his life, he discharged his weapon to get the vehicle to stop,” Scott said. No other agents fired.
The woman was declared dead at the scene, and the agent was taken to a hospital. His injuries were not clear.
After talking to investigators, family members including her husband and cousin told U-T San Diego the woman killed was 32-year-old Valeria “Monique,” Alvarado, a mother of five children ranging from ages 3 to 17.
“I love her to the fullest. That’s my heart,” husband Gilbert Alvarado said. “Where’s the evidence my wife threatened a trained officer? I want justice.”
Family members said Valeria Alvarado grew up in Chula Vista where the shooting took place but had been living about five miles away in the Southcrest neighborhood of San Diego, and they did not know why she was in her former hometown.
Hector Salazar, one of several neighbors who witnessed the incident, said he saw a man in civilian clothes on the hood of a black car aiming a gun at the windshield.
Salazar told U-T San Diego the man started pulling the trigger, and he heard about five shots. Moments later, other plainclothes agents approached the car, he said.
The person named in the warrant the agents were serving was not apprehended, Scott said.
The FBI and Chula Vista police are investigating.