A US Customs and Border Protection agent shot and killed a 32-year old mother of five in southern California after her car allegedly bumped into the man.
Valeria “Monique” Alvarado was killed on a residential street at 1 p.m. Friday. Border Patrol officials claim the woman driving the vehicle “assaulted” the officer by running him down with her car. The on-duty agent was responding to a felony warrant in the area, which was unrelated to Alvarado.
“The suspect was armed with a vehicle, and literally ran our agent down,” CBP Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott told NBC San Diego. “He was carried several hundred yards before he discharged his weapon through the windshield of the vehicle.”
Border Patrol officials claim that the agent ended up on the hood of the car after being struck – but multiple witnesses told reporters that they never saw the man anywhere close to being on the car. As the agent opened fire on the woman at least six times, the woman reversed in an attempt to get away from the approaching officer’s gunfire.
“As the car was backing up the officer was in the street walking toward the car, and discharging,” a witness said. The agent was dressed in plain clothes and was not displaying a badge.
“Without her even able to say a word – I didn’t hear anything – [he] just came across and just shot at the windshield many times,” Ashley Guilbeay told KMFB-TV.
Family members of the shooting victim argue that the mother of five would never intentionally hurt anyone – and that the officer overreacted by shooting her to death.
“My wife got killed for no reason,” Gilbert Alvarado told NBC 7. “Show me that my wife had a gun or something that threatened the guy’s life where he had to use lethal force against her.”
Witnesses say Alvarado may have accidentally hit the agent with her car and panicked when he pulled out a gun.
“The whole [thing] didn’t look right,” witness Ayanna Evans said.
Family and friends of the victim are demanding justice for the woman whose death leaves five children between the ages of 3-17 years motherless. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is working with Alvarado’s family to make sure the Border Patrol’s investigation is transparent.
Alvarado was a US citizen who was not wanted by law enforcement authorities, which Christian Ramirez of the Southern Border Community Coalition calls “troubling.”
“I don’t think it should have [gone] down like that. I don’t think she should have been shot,” a neighbor told NBC 7.