By VICTORIA PRIESKOP
ALBUQUERQUE (CN) — U.S. marshals executing a warrant at the wrong address shot to death an innocent, unarmed man as he worked on his truck, his mother claims in a lawsuit against the United States — though the marshals tell a different story.
Edgar Camacho Alvarado was working on his truck in front of his home at unit No. 26 in the Loon Creek Mobile Home Community in Albuquerque, so he could drive it to a job interview that day. It was early in the morning of Feb. 20.
Marshals, looking for a man named George Bond who they believed to be in No. 29, “never identified themselves or announced their presence before shooting Mr. Alvarado,” killing him with a single shot, his mother says in the federal lawsuit.
“Mr. Alvarado was unarmed and did not threaten law enforcement verbally or by his gestures or conduct,” his mother adds. She says he had raised his arms to surrender when a bullet entered his right side just under his armpit, tearing through his right lung and aorta, killing him.
The family’s attorney Robert Gorence told the Albuquerque Journal after the shooting that “Edgar was dragged from the house, after having been struck multiple times, taken outside, given commands to give up a weapon, as he’s gurgling and flailing his arms, and shot a fourth time. Almost what you would call ‘execution style.'”
That description differs from that of the complaint, which was filed Nov. 10.
KRQE News 13 Albuquerque reported that Deputy U.S. Marshal Paul Hernandez believed Alvarado was following him as he looked for Bond. Hernandez said that “when he addressed Edgar Camacho Alvarado, 23, for following him, and noticed Camacho Alvarado was armed, Hernandez identified himself as member of law enforcement and the man fled,” according to the TV station.
KRQE reported that Hernandez “chased Camacho Alvarado and later found him at one of the trailers. Police say Camacho Alvarado raised a weapon at Hernandez. That is when Hernandez fired four times and fatally shot Camacho-Alvarado.” Only one of the four bullets hit Alvarado, according to KRQE.
The autopsy report, released in May, showed that Alvarado was shot once in the right side of his chest, near his armpit. “The bullet ruptured both of his lungs and several ribs before coming to rest in the left side of his back”, according to KOB-Channel 4.
The toxicology report showed that Camacho Alvarado had methamphetamine, morphine, and amphetamines in his system when he died.
Another KRQE story reported that police found a loaded Ruger handgun near Alvarado and guns and ammunition in his room, and that Alvarado was wanted on a felony warrant at the time of his death. He had been accused of stealing tires and rims from parked cars.
George Bond was arrested at unit No. 29 after Alvarado was shot, after a 14-hour standoff with a SWAT team.
Alvarado’s mother, Hermelinda Alvarado Escobedo, seeks $10 million for gross negligence, civil rights violations and wrongful death. She has sent an administrative claim for $10 million to the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
She is represented by Robert Gorence with Gorence & Oliveros, and Jason Bowles, both of Albuquerque.