Family wants Sheriff's Deputy jailed over deadly shootings

Posted at 7:27 PM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 22:28:43-04

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Activists and the family of a man killed by a San Diego Sheriff's Deputy want that deputy fired and jailed.

The family of Jonathon Coronel, their lawyer, and the National Action Network (NAN) discussed their meeting with the Captain of Vista's SDSO station Thursday, calling for Deputy Christopher Villanueva's removal.

"We want him fired, we want him very clearly prosecuted and sent to prison," Rev. Shane Harris with the NAN said.

Harris said after the meeting, the Captain said he does not believe Coronel was approaching the officer brashly.


"[The Captian] does believe that Jonathon was not coming brashly back at the officer to cause altercation," Harris said.

Currently, there are two versions of how 24-year-old Coronel was shot in the backyard of a home on July 5: One as told by the Sheriff's Department and one from witnesses.

Coronel's uncle, Diego, said a witness claimed his nephew was on the ground with his hands up when he was shot.

"Jonathon took his shirt off to show he was unarmed," Coronel's uncle said.

The shirt is at the center of SDSO's account, saying Coronel had been crouching and turned toward the deputy with his hand concealed by his shirt, prompting the deputy to open fire.

"There's no trust of the department, everyone's scared," Diego said. "What the department needs to do is engage with the community, come as one."

Villanueva has been with SDSO for one year. Prior, he was an Escondido Police Officer for two years, where sources told 10News he was regarded as a good employee.

July's shooting is the second fatal shooting Villanueva has been involved in in less than a year.

"At the end, when we all die, we're humans, we breathe the same air, we bleed red, that's the way it is, I just want justice to be done for Jonathon Coronel," Diego said.

Ryan Keim, SDSO media relations director, issued a statement to 10News:

"It is always our goal to take a suspect into custody safely, regardless of the crimes they are accused of or their criminal history. We welcome the opportunity to sit down with the Coronel family to address their concerns in a positive and constructive manner."