Relatives Of Woman Killed By Border Agent Sue Agency Over Shooting

Valeria Alvarado, 32, was shot and killed in her car.

Valeria Alvarado, 32, was shot and killed in her car.  (Fox 5 San Diego)

The family of a California woman who was shot to death by a Border Patrol agent after she hit him with her car is suing the agency for civil charges.

The husband, parents and five children of 32-year-old Valeria "Munique" Tachiquin Alvarado filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court against the agency officials and particularly agent Justin Tackett.

The wrongful death suit contends the killing was unjustified and Tackett shouldn't have been hired because of misconduct in his previous job as a sheriff's deputy.

The family’s attorney, Eugene Iredale, said at a news conference Tuesday that witnesses in the neighborhood said Tackett fired “at a retreating woman who represented no danger or threat of any kind.”

The lawsuit also says Tackett, based on his history of disciplinary problems as a former Imperial County sheriff’s deputy from 2000 to 2003,  was “psychologically and temperamentally unsuited to work as a law enforcement official.”

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"He was a person who could have not have passed a reasonable background check who should have never been hired as a law enforcement officer in the first place," Iredale said at the news conference.

While Iredale acknowledged Alvarado had a substance abuse problem, the trace amounts of methamphetamine found in her system did not justify her being shot.

Alvarado was fleeing her San Diego area apartment where agents were serving a warrant to arrest a man for violating immigration laws in September.

Police say her Honda struck Tackett and she drove with him on the hood for about 200 yards.

The coroner said Tackett fired his gun 10 times and killed her.

So far Border Patrol has declined to comment on Tackett’s current status, as well as not commenting along with the lawsuit.

The latest statement by the agency is that the shooting is under investigation by Chula Vista police and the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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