Family of man fatally shot by Vista deputy will sue for wrongful death

Jonathon Coronel, 24, was shot 16 times
Posted at 10:56 AM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 20:47:28-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)--The family of a man killed by a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy earlier this month announced Thursday morning its plan to file a lawsuit against the County for wrongful death. 

Jonathon Coronel, 24, was fatally shot by Deputy Christopher Villanueva following a short pursuit in Vista. 

Now Coronel's family represented by attorney Angel Carrazco and the National Action Network, say a civil rights lawsuit will be filed.

"We are here for justice for my nephew," Diego Coronel said. 

"Jonathan [sic] was an unarmed Latino male shot 16 times by a San Diego Sheriff..." NAA said in a statement. "[NAA] also believes that Jonathan [sic] was compliant with the officer during the time of the shooting and that his shirt was off to show he was unarmed." 

Coronel, who the Sheriff's Department said was a documented gang member, fled from a car on the morning of July 5, when members of the department's Gang Enforcement Detail tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant, deputies said. Uniformed officers including Villanueva helped search for him in a residential area near North Melrose Drive. 

Villanueva encountered Coronel in the backyard of a home where the fatal shooting occurred.

The Sheriff's homicide unit continues to investigate the shooting when Coronel was shot 16 times.

But NAA president Shane Harris called instead for an independent investigation by the California attorney general's office during Thursday's press conference. 

Carrazco said he wants to remove "bad apples" from law enforcement agencies and brought up the fatal shooting of 33-year-old Sergio Weick in Vista by Villanueva, the same deputy who shot Coronel.

The Sheriff's Department would not comment on today's announcement but did state that Villanueva is on administrative leave. 

Sandy Coronilla is a KGTV digital producer. Follow her @SandyCoro