CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Friends, family and community members held a vigil Monday evening to remember Valeria "Monique" Alvarado, the 32-year-old, mother of five who was shot by a Border Patrol agent in Chula Vista last week.
Alvarado’s family said they were surprised that hundreds showed up at the gathering.
”We're just surprised, we thought it was just going to be friends and family here," said Antonio Tichiquin, Alvarado's brother. "We didn't think it affected the community as much as it has. ”
The size of the crowd at the candlelight vigil for Alvarado spoke volumes, family members said.
“It's just amazing,” said Emily Gomez, Alvarado’s 16-year-old sister. “I never thought so many people cared. And it hurts that she had to go so early."
Gomez said her sister was at the wrong place at the wrong time on Sept. 28. A Border Patrol agent in civilian clothes said he was serving a warrant in a Chula Vista neighborhood when Alvarado hit him with her car and carried him on her hood down the block. He said he feared for his life and fired at her.
From footage taken at the scene of the shooting, 10News counted 10 bullet holes on the windshield.
“Tell me why somebody kill her like that,” said Alvarado’s sobbing aunt, Teresa Tichiquin. “Not one bullet, not two, not three, many bullets! How come he didn't stop her by shooting the car, the tires?”
Certain details of the case nagged at a retired Custom's Agent and six-year veteran of San Diego Police Department Roland Heuschele, who contacted 10News.
“My experience in the Custom's Office was, no one serving a warrant would do so without some sort of clothing that would identify him as an officer," said Heuschele.
Alvarado's family also demanded answers.
“We understand it's an ongoing investigation and they can't tell us the facts, we understand that, but just a little compassion,” said Antonio Tichiquin.
Monday evening, Antonio Tichiquin sent a message to his sister.
“If you're listening Monique, I love you with all my heart and I'm sorry you had to suffer the way you did your last moments on this earth, but I hope you're in a better place,” he said.
Relatives told 10News Alvarado went to Chula Vista High School and used to work in home health care with the elderly.
10News contacted Border Patrol Monday hoping to get some answers about the case. As of 11p.m., the agency has not called back. Chula Vista police said they would provide more details about the case Tuesday.