Did a Southcrest mother of five deserve to die?
That’s the question swirling around Friday’s fatal shooting of Valeria “Monique” Alvarado by a Border Patrol agent.
An autopsy was pending Saturday for Alvarado, 32, who allegedly ran into a Border Patrol agent with her car and was fatally shot through the windshield about 1 p.m. Friday on Moss Street near Oaklawn Avenue, according to federal agents, Chula Vista police and broadcast reports.
Border Patrol Deputy Chief Rodney Scott said the agent was in the area to serve a warrant. He apparently was not in uniform.
The agent was carried several hundred yards on the hood of the Honda Alvarado was driving, then he opened fire, “fearing for his life,” Scott said.
Alvarado family members told U-T San Diego the woman had five children, 3-17 years old.
“Where’s the evidence my wife threatened a trained officer?" asked her husband, Gilbert Alvarado.
“I want justice," he told the newspaper. “They said they didn’t know what had brought her to that neighborhood.”
Chula Vista police told the U-T the Honda was going west closer to Broadway when the agent was struck.
Hector Salazar, who lives nearby, told the U-T he was standing at his mailbox when he heard a man yell, “Stop!”
He said he saw a man on the hood of a two-door car, aiming a gun at the windshield. He said heard five shots.
Eduardo Comacho, 22, said he was walking on Woodlawn Avenue with a friend. He told the U-T they heard about seven shots. He said he saw a man in a red shirt, without a badge, holding his gun. He appeared shaken. Other undercover officers joined him, pulling out their badges as they walked.
“The lady was hanging out the door, barely moving," Comacho said. The agents checked her pulse, and medics who arrived shortly after began CPR on her
on the ground. Comacho could see what appeared to be bullet wounds in her chest, shoulder, arm and leg.
“He did not miss," Comacho told the newspaper.
Ayanna Evans, 19, who lives in a nearby apartment building, said she never saw the agent on the car. She said she happened to look out the window and saw the Honda backing up slowly, and a man in a red shirt walking toward the car.
“Then I heard, ‘Pop, pop, pop,’” she told the U-T.
Another resident of the same building, Prince Watson, told the newspaper he also saw the Honda going backward, with no one on it.
“She wasn’t speeding or driving erratic at all. I heard the agent say, ‘Stop.’ He was in the street and started shooting and walking toward the car,” Watson told the U-T.
Border Patrol agents would not say who they were looking to arrest when the shooting happened.
Christian Ramirez of the Southern Border Community Coalition to the U-T the shooting was “troubling," in part because Alvarado was not wanted by law enforcement authorities and was a U.S. citizen.
The U.S. Inspector General’s Office will review the investigation being done by Border Patrol agents and Chula Vista police.
—City News Service contributed to this report.