A new witness has come forward in the shooting death of 32-year-old Munique Tachiquin. According to accounts by Border Patrol officers, the mother of five was shot after she attempted to run over a plain clothes agent attempting to serve a warrant.
Prince Watson, a former Marine and Iraqi War veteran who lives nearby, told TV10/ABC News that he was reluctant to come forward, but said his sense of civic responsibility compelled him:
Watson said he was stepping outside for a cigarette when he heard the first shot that day.
“It was just repetitive shots,” Watson said. “It became murder after that second shot was fired.”
Investigators said Tackett was on the hood of Tachiquin’s moving car and feared for his life.
Watson said that is not what he saw.
Just watching him from a standing position firing at the front of the car at the female,” Watson said. “He was not on the hood of the car. He was standing on his two feet.”
Watson said he could see Tackett’s face — that he was less than 30 feet away.
The witness went on to tell 10News that he was handcuffed and thrown into a Border Patrol vehicle after refusing to give a statement to investigating officers.
“They were trying to tell me what I saw. They kept repeating themselves, ‘Hey that was an agent. He was on the hood of that car.’ I was scared.”
Last month the family of Munique Tachiquin filed a wrongful death claim against the agency, saying the agent involved had a long history of misconduct in a previous law enforcement job and should not have been on the street.
They’ve filed documents showing that the agent, 34-year-old Justin Tackett, was suspended four times for misconduct in the nearly four years that he worked as an Imperial County sheriff’s deputy. Tackett was given notice that he’d be fired just before he quit the job in 2003, the documents say.
In one 2002 probation case, according to the claim, Tackett “willfully disobeyed a direct order” and “provided false and misleading information during the investigation.” In a different incident in 2001, Tackett was called to assist police in Brawley with an incident and told to wait for them at a scene but instead rousted the suspect himself, engaged him in an altercation and cuffed him without a warrant.