Border agent kills mother in car incident

Sept. 30, 2012 at 12:38 AM
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SAN DIEGO, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The family of a California mother of five killed by a U.S. border agent while clinging to the hood of her moving car say the shooting was unjustified.

Valeria Alvarado, 32, of Chula Vista was fatally wounded Friday afternoon, U-T San Diego reported. Authorities said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent fired because he feared for his life when the woman allegedly drove at him with her car in the middle of a Chula Vista residential street, the newspaper said.

Border Patrol agents were serving a felony warrant in the neighborhood at the time. Alvarado, also known as Valeria Tachiquin, was not the subject of the warrant.

Chief Border Patrol Agent Rodney Scott said the agent was carried several hundred yards on the hood of the car before he fired his gun through the windshield, KNSD-TV, San Diego reported.

The agent, whose name wasn't released, was hospitalized in unknown condition.

Gilbert Alvarado said he was angry and believed the agent overreacted.

"My wife got killed for no reason," he said. "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.

"Whoever shot my wife -- whoever he is -- that guy needs to get shot."

Bernice Ratcliffe, a cousin of Alvarado, said the shooting was senseless.

"I think we're all shocked and we want answers," Ratcliffe said. "They didn't have to shoot her!"

Witnesses told the TV station they saw Alvarado slowly driving in reverse as the agent opened fire on her at least six times.

"As the car was backing up the officer was in the street walking toward the car, and discharging," Prince Watson said.

Witnesses said it appeared Alvarado may have accidentally struck the plain clothes agent and panicked when he told her to stop and pulled out his gun without displaying a badge.

Christian Ramirez of the Southern Border Communities Coalition said the organization will stand up for Alvarado's family.

"We will do everything in our power to make sure the investigation is conducted in a transparent fashion, and the family gets the justice they deserve," Ramirez said.

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