The deputy who shot and killed a gang member in a Vista backyard last week is the same deputy who fatally shot another gang member in Vista 11 months earlier.
Sheriff’s officials on Wednesday said it was Deputy Christopher Villanueva who shot and killed Jonathon Coronel after a foot chase on July 5. They also released more details about what led to the fatal shooting.
About 10:15 a.m., members of the sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Detail spotted Coronol as a passenger in a green Buick. Before deputies could pull the the vehicle over, Coronel got out and ran, hopping fences in the residential area. They gave chase but lost him, and uniformed patrol deputies, including Villanueva, came to help search.
Lt. Kenn Nelson of the sheriff’s homicide unit said that when the deputy encountered Coronel, the gang member was crouching, his right hand covered by a T-shirt. Coronel turned toward the deputy and simultaneously raised his concealed hand toward Villanueva. The deputy feared for his life and fired 16 rounds, striking Coronel multiple times, Nelson said.
Coronel was was unarmed.
At the start of the search for Coronel, Villanueva was told that Coronel was often armed with a handgun and had made threats in the past to kill law enforcement officers, Nelson said. Those threats had come recently, in social media posts, the lieutenant said.
The chase ended in the backyard of Jorge Valentin, who said Wednesday that he was perhaps 20 feet from Coronel at the time of the shooting. He said Coronel was face down, giving up, when he was shot.
Valentin said he was in his backyard when his wife told him deputies had jumped their fence. He…
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