SAN DIEGO (AP) – A Border Patrol agent in Southern California who shot and killed a mother of five after she hit him with her vehicle fired his gun 10 times from the hood of her car as he tried to get the woman to stop, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.
Valeria “Munique” Tachiquin Alvarado, 32, suffered 14 gunshot wounds to her upper body, the San Diego County Medical Examiner said. Some bullets may have caused more than one wound.
The autopsy determined the Sept. 28 death was a homicide and lists multiple gunshot wounds as the cause.
Alvarado fled a friend’s apartment in Chula Vista when agents came with an arrest warrant for someone else, according to the autopsy, mirroring previous statements from police. Police say her car struck an agent and she drove with him on the hood for about 200 yards.
The agent held on to the Alvarado’s 1994 Honda Accord after breaking the windshield, firing his pistol until she stopped, the autopsy says.
Alvarado’s blood tested positive for methamphetamine at 0.1 milligram per liter.
Alvarado’s family has filed a wrongful death claim against the Border Patrol, saying the agent who fired had a long history of misconduct in a previous law enforcement job and should not have been on the street. Documents released by family attorney Eugene Iredale say the agent, 34-year-old Justin Tackett, was suspended four times for misconduct including crashing a patrol car and violating suspects’ rights in the nearly four years that he worked as an Imperial County sheriff’s deputy.
A Border Patrol official said on the day of the shooting that the agent feared for his life. The National Border Patrol Council, the union representing agents, has said it is confident he acted properly.
The Border Patrol has been involved in a series of deadly shootings along the U.S. border with Mexico, and the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general is reviewing the agency’s policies on use of lethal force. The ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights says agents have killed at least 18 people since 2010.
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