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Tue Oct 2, 2012, 02:23 PM

Anger Rising in Valeria Alvarado Shooting Death By Border Patrol Agent

Source: CBS TV (San Diego affiliate)

CHULA VISTA, CA (CBS) - There is rising anger in southern California over a border patrol agent who shot and killed a mother of five on Friday. Officials say the agent was trying to save his own life. Police isn Chula Vista, California are still investigating. Local residents say there was no reason for the shooting.

Valentin Tachiquin says, "I want to know why she died. What was the purpose? Why did she die?"

That painful question of the grieving father of Valeria Alvarado is being asked by an entire community. At a vigil lasts evening the slain woman's husband was inconsolable, her son seemed in shock. Valeria Alvarado's shooting death in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista by a plain-clothed U.S. Border agent was violent: her car pockmarked with bullet holes; beside it the body of the 32-year old mother of five. To the community it's inconceivable.

To authorities it's inconclusive. The Border Patrol says the plain-clothes agent was in the neighborhood serving a warrant, when Alvarado ran him down, the agent feared for his life. Deputy Chief Rodney Scott with U.S. Border Patrol says, "He was hit with the vehicle and got lodged on the windshield where you saw the impact and was carried several hundred yards before he discharged his weapon through the windshield of the vehicle."

Witnesses tell conflicting stories. Ashley Guilebeau says, "From my apartment I could see a car stop in the middle of the street and a guy coming and walking in front of the car and shooting about 12 times."

<snip>

Read more: http://www.todaysthv.com/news/article/229185/288/Anger-rising-in-deadly-Calif-border-patrol-shooting-



This is an update on yesterday's post about the killing, but there is little new information except that "anger is rising," which is noteworthy.

Critical information remains missing:

How did the interaction between Alvarado and the Border Patrol agent who killed her begin?

Was the agent really ever on her car? (It kind of looks like it with that dented windshield.)

Was the agent on her car when he shot her? (Witness accounts vary. It's one thing to shoot a driver careening down the road with you hanging on for dear life; it's quite another to shoot a driver who is slowly backing away from you when you're standing in the road.)

52 replies, 7459 views

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply Anger Rising in Valeria Alvarado Shooting Death By Border Patrol Agent (Original post)
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 OP
msongs Oct 2012 #1
cr8tvlde Oct 2012 #2
glacierbay Oct 2012 #4
awoke_in_2003 Oct 2012 #36
cr8tvlde Oct 2012 #50
slackmaster Oct 2012 #51
awoke_in_2003 Oct 2012 #52
Ash_F Oct 2012 #3
azurnoir Oct 2012 #6
glacierbay Oct 2012 #12
Ash_F Oct 2012 #26
glacierbay Oct 2012 #27
Ash_F Oct 2012 #28
glacierbay Oct 2012 #31
Ash_F Oct 2012 #33
glacierbay Oct 2012 #34
Joanie Baloney Oct 2012 #7
tkmorris Oct 2012 #9
JRLeft Oct 2012 #5
glacierbay Oct 2012 #8
tkmorris Oct 2012 #11
grantcart Oct 2012 #24
SILVER__FOX52 Oct 2012 #10
glacierbay Oct 2012 #13
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Oct 2012 #14
glacierbay Oct 2012 #15
atreides1 Oct 2012 #19
glacierbay Oct 2012 #21
AnotherMcIntosh Oct 2012 #42
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 #16
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Oct 2012 #20
glacierbay Oct 2012 #22
grantcart Oct 2012 #25
awoke_in_2003 Oct 2012 #38
atreides1 Oct 2012 #17
glacierbay Oct 2012 #23
bemildred Oct 2012 #47
glacierbay Oct 2012 #48
SaveAmerica Oct 2012 #18
Ashgrey77 Oct 2012 #30
OldDem2012 Oct 2012 #29
glacierbay Oct 2012 #32
LarryNM Oct 2012 #35
glacierbay Oct 2012 #40
LarryNM Oct 2012 #41
AlphaCentauri Oct 2012 #37
randome Oct 2012 #39
Joanie Baloney Oct 2012 #43
Ash_F Oct 2012 #44
LarryNM Oct 2012 #46
slackmaster Oct 2012 #49
Trillo Oct 2012 #45

Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 02:25 PM

1. depends on whether witnesses conform to the views of their peer group at the scene nt

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 02:44 PM

2. So glad this "plain clothes" person was armed...and apparently dangerous. Now tell the five kids.

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Response to cr8tvlde (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:05 PM

4. So glad you're ready to pass judgement

 

before the investigation is complete.

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Response to cr8tvlde (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 07:58 PM

36. Well, I hate to defend law enforcement...

but the crazy lady was armed with a 4000+ lb weapon. She hit him and kept going.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #36)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:34 PM

50. Not passing judgment...he shot and killed her. Even if she was a "hit and run"

you don't get to kill them...sorry. And the "plain clothes" denies her the knowledge of assault of law enforcement.

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Response to cr8tvlde (Reply #50)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:59 PM

51. She knew the man she deliberately hit was a law enforcement officer - See new info in other thread

 

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Response to cr8tvlde (Reply #50)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:06 PM

52. What should he do...

hang on until she runs out of gas? She showed no intention of stopping.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 02:49 PM

3. Does anyone have a pic of the scene or the car? /nt

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:19 PM

12. That definitely looks like an impact against the windshield

 

and a pretty good one too. I've seen my share of windshield impacts and that looks like a human impact.
The hood won't necessarily be dented all that much, he may have rolled across the hood and impacted the windshield.
We'll know more when the investigation is complete.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:50 PM

26. Indeed, that looks like a very hard hit.

I'm surprised the officer was not seriously injured; he must be a larger man.

Still, I think witness statements are going to be important as there is still no complete picture of what happened. The problem I have, in cases like this, is that the DA will often simply ignore any affidavits that are damaging to the officer. No DA wants to be on the police forces bad side, do they? Lest they be labeled as "soft on crime".

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #26)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:59 PM

27. Witness statements are important

 

They'll probably do a gunshot residue test on the windshield to determine just how close the agent was when he fired, I don't for a second believe the lady who said that she witnessed the agent walking towards the car and then firing 12 times, that's just ridiculous,
I'm not familiar with how other cities DA's operate, but in my city, the DA is not afraid to call bullshit when he sees it and I respect the DA's office for that.

We'll just have to wait for the investigation to be completed.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #27)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 05:35 PM

28. Discounting the lady's statement right away is not right either.

It's possible she saw that after he had already been hit. It isn't clear whether she made a sworn statement yet; probably not. What do you think of the spread of the bullet holes on the windshield? It seems like he would have been at least a few yards away. Of course there were other witnesses too. The officers own account matters, even though he is the one under scrutiny. Even if he was standing when he made those shots, it doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't self defense. It is at least mitigating if he had been struck prior.

Whichever way this case goes, I still think there is a larger problem in our national system where law enforcement does not police itself properly because of how closely state lawyers are tied into the agencies and how dependent they are on their blessings for getting elected.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #28)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:24 PM

31. The reason I'm discounting her eyewitness account

 

is because of the number of bullet holes, I count 7, maybe 9, I can't tell for sure if those are two more on the left side of the windshield, It's been by experience that eyewitness accounts of rounds fired are usually not too terribly reliable, nothing against the lady, just my experience. The grouping is pretty good considering the circumstances, but it looks like he may not have been on the hood for all the shots, forensics should be able to determine that by a gunshot residue test and the angle of entry as related to where they struck the victim.

I won't argue with you about LE problems with policing itself, that's like asking the coyote to guard the chicken coop. I've always advocated for a completely autonomous civilian board to look into all police related shootings and allegations of police corruption and misdeeds, in my division, my officers know full well that I won't tolerate any unnecessary use of force, any misconduct or any corruption, I have no problem with taking any of them off street patrol and sitting them behind a desk pending the outcome of an IA investigation.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #31)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:40 PM

33. I counted 10 with my eyes, for sure, looking at azurnoir's pic.

But I think the facts leading up to the first shot being fired is more important than the number of shots.

I think your idea of a civilian board is very reasonable. Certainly it should not be the county DA in charge of cases against local police forces, nor federal prosecutors for federal agencies.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #33)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:55 PM

34. I agree

 

leading up to and during the incident.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:17 PM

9. The link in the OP has a video

The video shows the car and the scene from a few angles.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:11 PM

5. No reason to take a side until all of the facts come out.

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Response to JRLeft (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:15 PM

8. +1000

 

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Response to JRLeft (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:19 PM

11. True enough, BUT

Unless pressure is applied the facts are unlikely to come out.

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Response to JRLeft (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:32 PM

24. I agree. Interestingly I have talked with 3 Border Patrol Agents (in another Sector) since this

happened and none of them had any additional information.

Also I expected them to instinctively side with the BP agent in question and all of them said something to the effect that "when you are working in plain clothes you have to be very careful and can't make any assumptions about what people think. If they see that you have a weapon people may assume that your a bad guy.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the agent erred in withdrawing his weapon before they got in position to approach the suspect that they were serving the warrant on and this triggered a panic reaction by the woman.

Border Patrol agents normally do not serve warrants, they are usually apprehending fence jumpers and people evading detection near the border.

This must have been a multi task force set up to serve warrants on particularly dangerous felons.

Terrible tragedy for all involved completely in sympathy for the family.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:18 PM

10. Just another cop bullshit story..............

We all know that the Police never make a mistake.

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Response to SILVER__FOX52 (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:21 PM

13. Just another bullshit slam against cops

 

you don't know what happened yet, why not wait for the investigation to be completed? Police do make mistakes, I've made my share of them.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #13)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:35 PM

14. Don't you know?

When cops are being shot at and run over, they should just accept their death for taking a job as a pig and a narc?


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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:40 PM

15. To listen to some here

 

you'd think that's exactly what they want. It really angers me when all cops are labeled as bad, crooked, lying pigs. I've been a cop for almost 30 years and I've always been a good, honest, hard working cop, as are most cops in the nation, who are just trying to make their communities a little safer for the good people of their community, granted, their are bad cops out there, but they are the minority, not the majority.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #15)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:50 PM

19. That's admirable

I have never believed that all cops are bad or dishonest, but what does a good, honest cop do when a fellow officer is?

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #19)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:56 PM

21. In my capacity as a LT.

 

I have the power to take a cop off the street and put them on a desk while the IA investigation is ongoing, and I have on several occasions. I don't tolerate misconduct by the officers under my command and they know it.
As you can guess, I'm not the most popular LT. in my Dept., but I'm not running a popularity contest, I'm supervising a Division.

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #19)


Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:46 PM

16. Funny thing about cops getting run over and killing the driver...

This happens with some frequency in drug busts and other offenses.

The cops try to bust the guy while he's in his car and then he bumps them and then they waste him. They ALWAYS claim the driver was trying to run them down and they feared for their lives. But I have to ask myself: Are all these dead drivers really wannabe cop killers, or were they just trying to escape?

In the present case, it seems likely the agent was indeed hit by Alvarado's car, given the dented windshield, but we still don't know anything about the circumstances of their encounter. Why not? Did no witness see her hit him? Did no witness see her drive hundreds of yards with him on the hood, as the cops claim?

And was he on the hood of a speeding car in fear for his life as he opened fire? If so, nice shooting, partner. Or was he standing in the street, shooting into the car as it backed away from him, as some witnesses have suggested? That would be a big difference.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:51 PM

20. "I was just trying to get away" is not a defense to reckless endangerment....

....or depraved indifference.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:59 PM

22. You raise some good questions

 

and that's exactly why we need to wait for the investigation to be completed before passing judgement like some already have, not you, but some have.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:34 PM

25. We know that the woman was not the subject of the warrant and had not connection with the person

they were trying to approach.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 08:01 PM

38. Look at the pic of the windshield...

she didn't bump him- she hit him good. The caved in part of the windshield is from his body hitting it- bullets don't cause that kind of damage.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #13)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:46 PM

17. "Police do make mistakes, I've made my share of them."

Are you a police officer? Just curious.

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:00 PM

23. Yes

 

Almost 30 years in MO.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #23)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 11:19 AM

47. Welcome to DU.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #47)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 11:58 AM

48. Thank you

 

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 03:47 PM

18. I'd be more afraid I'd die trying to shoot than to hang on til the car stopped

How did he shoot her with one arm holding on to the vehicle if he was so scared he was going to die?

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Response to SaveAmerica (Reply #18)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:03 PM

30. Supposedly he stood up on the hood and shot her.

I myself would like to know how he managed to do that while his "life was in danger" pinned against the window of a car trying to speed off. I've been hit by a car myself and watched it happen several times, and there would have been NO way to get a gun out and fire or even get your balance before you are off the car or it decelerates. I'm speculating of course, but it just doesn't seem logical to me.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 05:38 PM

29. The first question I'd like to see answered is....

...whether or not the plain-clothes Border Patrol agent clearly and completely identified himself to Alvarado. She may have panicked thinking he was trying to rob her.

The second question is whether or not the forensic evidence indicates the agent's firearm was discharged within a few inches of the windshield which would be the case if the agent was on the hood as he claimed.

The angle of the fatal shots through the windshield into Alvarado's body should also be able to tell us at what angle the firearm was discharged. The higher the angle, the more likely the agent was on the hood. The lower the angle, the more likely the agent was standing at some distance from the front of the car.

I'm also concerned with the wide radius of the shots into the windshield. It would stand to reason that someone on the hood would have placed more shots into a much smaller radius centered on where the driver actually sat.

Additionally, the forensics should be able to tell us how close the agent was to the windshield by the amount of glass particles, however minute, found on his clothing and/or on his body. Hopefully, they collected his clothing and checked his body for glass particles before he was able to go home and wash them.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #29)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:28 PM

32. Let me guess

 

you're a past or present investigator? You just listed everything that I would do as a forensic investigator. I fully agree with everything you posted.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 07:46 PM

35. One Thing for Sure

Valeria Alvarado will not be telling her side of the story.

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Response to LarryNM (Reply #35)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 08:21 PM

40. True

 

but forensics should be able to speak for her. Let's all wait for the investigation to be completed before passing judgement.

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Response to glacierbay (Reply #40)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 08:49 PM

41. Forensics Will Not tell what she was thinking or thought was happening

By that standard why let the Agent speak, afterall, forensics will speak well enough for him.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 07:59 PM

37. It could be a sudden attacks of rage not self defense

No one knows if the lady had any intention to hurt the officer or if it was just a car accident with an officer who got a sudden attacks of rage.

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Response to AlphaCentauri (Reply #37)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 08:09 PM

39. Yeah, it could have been a completely unrelated accident.

Until the facts are known, why speculate?

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 10:38 PM

43. Here's an update to the story

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities 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.

The 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.

More at the link and a video:

http://www.cbs8.com/story/19711044/new-details-in-border-patrol-shooting-investigation

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Response to Joanie Baloney (Reply #43)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 10:47 PM

44. Thanks for the update

The end of the article has something key:

"Additionally, witness interviews are pending, while lab personnel are processing physical evidence," he said.

It seems there were initial witness statements to the press that counter what was said in this article. I would like to know if those were followed up on by investigators.

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Response to Joanie Baloney (Reply #43)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 04:07 AM

46. If This Info is Correct Then her Actions were Illegal and Wrong

If the War on Drugs was handled differently then this may not have happened, but her actions can not be excused.

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Response to Joanie Baloney (Reply #43)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:39 PM

49. My old buddy CVPD chief David Bejarano was on the radio this morning explaining what they know

 

It's going to be a long investigation.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:52 AM

45. On the one hand, we have more cameras in public places now than ever before.

On the other hand, nobody with official access to those video feeds knows anything.

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