An autopsy report has surfaced that indicates 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 the report obtained by the Associated Press, Valeria "Munique" Tachiquin Alvarado, 32, sustained 14 gunshot wounds to her upper body.
The autopsy determined the Sept. 28 death was a homicide and lists multiple gunshot wounds as the cause, the AP reports.
A report from the incident reveals that Alvarado fled a friend's apartment in Chula Vista as agents came with an arrest warrant for someone else. Police told reporters that her car struck an agent and she drove with him on the hood for about 200 yards.
Citing the autopsy, the AP reports that the agent held on to Alvarado’s 1994 Honda Accord while firing his pistol until she stopped.
As a result of the incident, Alvarado’s family has filed a wrongful death claim against the Border Patrol, suggesting that the agent who fired the 10 shots had a long history of misconduct in a previous law enforcement job and should not have been on patrol.
Documents released by the family attorney and obtained by the AP 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.
The Border Patrol is standing by Tackett and the manor in which he reacted, telling reporters that the agent feared for his life. The National Border Patrol Council, the union representing agents, also told reporters it is confident he acted properly.
According to the AP, the ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights says agents have killed at least 18 people since 2010. In addition, he Homeland Security Department's inspector general is reviewing the agency's policies on use of lethal force.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.