The Chula Vista Police Department disclosed Tuesday 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 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, CVPD Capt. Gary Wedge said.
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.
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 lawman 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.
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 will be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for a ruling on whether the shooting was legally justified.
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.
– City News Service