SAN DIEGO (CNS) — The family of a San Diego man fatally shot by Border Patrol agents last year in Campo filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday, alleging the decedent was unarmed and holding a cell phone when he was shot.
Silvestre Estrada Vargas, 26, led Border Patrol agents on a May 14, 2021, pursuit, which began when agents attempted to stop a car after suspecting its driver of smuggling migrants, according to the complaint filed in San Diego federal court. The lawsuit alleges the car chase led to a gas station at the intersection of Buckman Springs Road and state Route 94.
There, the agents opened fire "without any legal justification or threat to their safety," striking Vargas. He was taken to a hospital, but died a short time later.
Two other men were in the car at the time, but were not struck.
Border Patrol representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the complaint, Vargas had one hand on the steering wheel and was holding a phone to his ear when the gunfire started. It also alleges he did not drive in a threatening manner and did not present a threat to the agents.
The complaint was filed on behalf of Vargas' underage son, Vargas' mother, and the men who were in the car during the pursuit and shooting.