A North County family is angry after the District Attorney’s office ruled that a deputy was justified in shooting and killing of Jonathon Coronel.
District Attorney Summer Stephan presented results of the review Friday of four separate fatal deputy-involved shootings, including Coronel.
Coronel’s family said Saturday they were surprised by the results.
On July 5, 2017, Coronel was in a crouched position, facing a deputy when he raised his hand—which was covered by a T-shirt—toward the deputy. The deputy fired at Coronel because he feared for his life, investigators said.
According to the summary on the Medical Examiner's Office, a San Diego County Sheriff’s detective said Coronel pulled his shirt over his head, "turned his back to the deputies and started getting down on the ground." That account is consistent with an eyewitness NBC 7 spoke to just after the shooting.
Stephan said Saturday that deadly force was reasonable in the case of Coronel, and all three other cases, and those deputies were not criminally liable.
Coronel’s family says justice was not served and is calling for the deputy involved in the shooting, Chris Villanueva, to be terminated and charged in the death.
The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
“Justice for my grandson Jonathon Coronel,” said Beatriz Beltran-Coronel, Coronel’s grandmother, at a rally in South San Diego Saturday denouncing the District Attorney’s review.
Coronel was wanted for his suspected involvement in the deadly shooting of a teenager, and an attempted murder of a rival gang member, according to Stephan.
“Coronel was a member of the criminal street gang that threatened members of the Sheriff’s Department including the particular deputy involved,” Stephan said.
Coronel’s cousin, Rocio Zamora, said she was angry and disgusted about how Stephan portrayed her relative.
“How convenient of her to come up with all these images to make him look like a violent person,” said Zamora.
Stephan contends that deputies feared Coronel was armed and dangerous. No weapon was ever found.
“We’re grieving. We’re never going to stop grieving. We’re still standing and we’re still demanding dignity and demanding justice,” Zamora said.