Police release more information in Border Patrol shooting investigation
Police: Woman killed by Border Patrol agent fled
6:21 PM, Oct 2, 2012
11:17 AM, Oct 3, 2012
CHULA VISTA, Calif. -
Authorities Tuesday disclosed that a woman fatally shot by a Border Patrol agent last week was on probation for a 2011 narcotics conviction at the time of her death on a residential street in southwestern Chula Vista.
The series of events that led to the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Valeria Munique Tachiquin-Alvarado began shortly before 1 p.m. Friday, when a group of plainclothes Border Patrol agents went to an apartment in the 600 block of Moss Street to arrest a felon who previously had been deported, Chula Vista Police Dept. Capt. Gary Wedge said.
The undercover personnel found several people, including Tachiquin-Alvarado, inside the residence and identified themselves as law enforcement officers, according to Wedge. The occupants had been the subjects of prior complaints of illegal drug activity, the captain said.
Wedge told reporters, "They identified themselves as Border Patrol agents; Munique was in a position to hear them. The two agents at the car both had badges, one on his belt, the other on a chain around his neck. She was fleeing the scene."
Shortly after the agents arrived, Tachiquin-Alvarado, a U.S. citizen and mother of five who lived in the Southcrest area of San Diego, left the apartment and walked toward a dark-green Honda Accord parked nearby.
Border Patrol personnel who had surrounded the complex contacted her as she got behind the wheel, Wedge said. The woman then allegedly pulled away from the curb, causing the sedan to strike an agent at least once.
The agent told Tachiquin-Alvarado she was under arrest for vehicular assault as a fellow officer reached through the driver's-side window and tried to remove the ignition key, Wedge said. The car then struck the first agent again, after which Tachiquin-Alvarado allegedly drove off to the west with him perched on the hood of the vehicle.
Witnesses told investigators the Honda was traveling about 25 mph and at one point veered into an oncoming lane as the agent, who appeared fearful, yelled at the woman to stop the car, according to Wedge.
After allegedly driving more than 200 yards, Tachiquin-Alvarado began to make a turn near Oaklawn Avenue. At that point, according to a witness, the agent drew his gun and fired repeatedly into the windshield. Ten bullet holes dotted the windshield.
Agents rendered first aid to Tachiquin-Alvarado prior to the arrival of paramedics, who pronounced her dead at the scene.
The agent who opened fire was later evaluated at a hospital and released. His name has not been released.
In previous public statements, law enforcement officials had described the lawman being struck by the woman's car a single time.
Chula Vista police continue to work with federal agencies "to ensure a comprehensive investigation is completed," Wedge said.
"Additionally, witness interviews are pending, while lab personnel are processing physical evidence," he said.
The results of the probe is expected to be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney's Office to be reviewed.
On Monday, Tachiquin-Alvarado's family held a tearful news conference to protest the circumstances of her death and staged an evening candlelight vigil near the scene of the fatal encounter.
Alliance San Diego director Christian Ramirez told 10News on Tuesday, "As citizens we need to know why a woman, an American citizen, was gunned down by a plainclothes Border Patrol agent in broad daylight."
10News also spoke with childhood friends of Munique on Tuesday.
"It's just heart breaking," said friend Brisa Oviedo.
She later added, "If she was involved in whatever she was, to shoot her... for her to die like that… Nobody deserves to be shot like that."