A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a 32-year-old woman in Chula Vista, California, on Friday, but some witness accounts of the fatal shooting differ from those of the government agency.
According to Border Patrol, the agent fired into the windshield of Valeria Alvarado's car after she hit him with her vehicle and drove several hundred feet with the agent on the hood. "Fearing for his life, he discharged his weapon to get the vehicle to stop," Border Patrol Deputy Chief Rodney Scott told U-T San Diego.
At the time of the encounter, the agent was in the process of serving a felony warrant, but the warrant was not for Alvarado. It remains unclear why Alvarado struck the agent. He was dressed in plainclothes and at least one witness near the scene did not see his badge displayed.
After the shooting, U-T San Diego reported conflicting accounts from witnesses. One man recalled seeing the agent on the hood as he pulled the trigger, while several others said differently.
Ayanna Evans, 19, who lives in a neighboring apartment complex, said she never saw the agent on the car.
She said she happened to look out the window to see the Honda backing up slowly, and a man in a red shirt walking toward the car.
"Then I heard, 'Pop, pop, pop,'" she said. She yelled at her children and aunt with her in the apartment to get down.
Apartment resident Prince Watson said he also saw the driver going in reverse, with no one on the car.
"She wasn't speeding or driving erratic at all. I heard the agent say, 'Stop.' He was in the street and started shooting and walking toward the car," Watson recalled.
The mother of five died at the scene and, according to witnesses, had bullet wounds to the face, arms and chest. Following standard operating procedure, the incident is under investigation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the FBI and the Chula Vista Police Department.