CHULA VISTA, CA (CBS) – There is rising anger in southern California over a border patrol agent who shot and killed a mother of five on Friday. Officials say the agent was trying to save his own life. Police isn Chula Vista, California are still investigating. Local residents say there was no reason for the shooting.
Valentin Tachiquin says, “I want to know why she died. What was the purpose? Why did she die?”
That painful question of the grieving father of Valeria Alvarado is being asked by an entire community. At a vigil lasts evening the slain woman’s husband was inconsolable, her son seemed in shock. Valeria Alvarado’s shooting death in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista by a plain-clothed U.S. Border agent was violent: her car pockmarked with bullet holes; beside it the body of the 32-year old mother of five. To the community it’s inconceivable.
To authorities it’s inconclusive. The Border Patrol says the plain-clothes agent was in the neighborhood serving a warrant, when Alvarado ran him down, the agent feared for his life. Deputy Chief Rodney Scott with U.S. Border Patrol says, “He was hit with the vehicle and got lodged on the windshield where you saw the impact and was carried several hundred yards before he discharged his weapon through the windshield of the vehicle.”
Witnesses tell conflicting stories. Ashley Guilebeau says, “From my apartment I could see a car stop in the middle of the street and a guy coming and walking in front of the car and shooting about 12 times.”
Hector Salazar says, “The guy was riding on the hood. And then when he was riding on the hood, actually the car stopped in the middle of the road, and I heard the guy yelling ‘stop.’”
Border watchdog groups say Alvarado is the 15th person killed by border agents in the last two years. Christian Ramirez, director of the Southern Borders Community Coalition says, “It’s very alarming. One death is too much.”
Valeria Alvarado knew men in uniform: her father, a prison guard; her brother a Staff Sergeant in the Army. Her brother Antonio Tachiquin says, “Whatever we get out of it, we just get the truth and an honest investigation.”
Her father Valentin Tachiquin asys, “When I stop to think of the way she’s gone, all the shots that were fired, it hurts my body just to think the way she felt.”
The agent involved in the shooting was released from the hospital with no serious injuries. Local and federal authorities are investigating what happened here. Valentin says, “I wish this could be just a terrible dream, it takes a lot of strength to go on.”