A Border Patrol agent is positioned by the border fence.
A Border Patrol agent is positioned by the border fence. Photo by Chris Stone

The family of a man who was fatally shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in San Ysidro filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday against the agent and the federal government.

The family of 30-year-old David Angel Villalobos-Valdovinos alleges he was unarmed and did not present a threat when he was shot by Border Patrol Agent Ryan Gonsalves on Oct. 23, 2020.

According to the suit filed in San Diego federal court on behalf of Villalobos’ wife and son, Villalobos was approached by Gonsalves at around 5:30 p.m. near the Las Americas Premium Outlets.

The suit alleges Gonsalves “sprinted” toward Villalobos and pointed his firearm at him. A “frightened” Villalobos then tried to leave, but was shot in the chest. He died at the scene.

The lawsuit alleges Gonsalves failed to use non-lethal methods to subdue Villalobos and escalated the situation by pointing a weapon, which “caused a foreseeable reaction of fear and confusion in David Angel, who suffered mental and developmental handicaps.” The suit also alleges that other agents who arrived on scene after the shooting did not provide proper first aid to Villalobos.

A San Diego Police Department statement released shortly after the shooting said that Villalobos was believed to have enter the United States illegally when he was confronted by Gonsalves. SDPD’s statement said the initial investigation indicated Villalobos “fought with the agent” prior to the shooting.