Family of 16-year-old fatally shot by Guadalupe County deputy searching for answers
Family says Jonas Alonzo was unarmed when shot
The family of a 16-year-old teen who was shot and killed by Guadalupe County Sheriff's deputy is searching for answers.
The shooting happened at 7 p.m. Friday in the 2700 block of FM 1044, where deputies responded to call of a possible suicide.
The Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office reports when sheriff's deputies arrived at the home, 16-year-old Jonas Alonzo came toward them with a knife. That's when deputies fired multiple shots at Alonzo.
Sheriff Arnold Zwicke said officer-involved shootings in the county are rare.
"In the 13 years that I have been sheriff, this is our second one. Ironically, they weren't even a quarter of a mile apart," Zwicke said.
Alonzo was taken to a New Braunfels hospital, where he later died.
The deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative duty.
Alonzo's family is now trying to piece together the moments that led up to his shooting. They want to know why deputies used deadly force on a teen they say was unarmed.
Ivonne Villalpanda, Alonzo's step-aunt and current caregiver, said she got home around 6:30 p.m. on Friday and found him with a friend. She said she believes they had been drinking. She confronted the pair and said Jonas picked up a knife, but never threatened her. She dialed 911 and said Jonas went outside and sat on her driveway.
Villalpanda said as soon as she saw the police pull up, she told the other children in the home. She said in a matter of seconds, she heard 'pop pop pop.'
That is where the accounts of what happen differ. The Guadalupe County Sheriff said Jonas came at the deputies with a knife, but his family said he was unarmed and believes officers could have used other means of restraining him.
"They could have tased him. They could have maced him, sprayed him with pepper spray. Something else besides shooting him," said Ciara Lopez, Alonzo's adoptive mother.
As they begin to plan their adoptive son's funeral, Ciara and Tiffany Lopez are also beginning their search for justice.
"We want to see a tape, to see everything we can. We want to know what exactly happened, moment to moment," said Tiffany Lopez.
But all they have left after Friday is memories.
"He was just a very respectable kid. He just wanted to be loved and with a family for a long enough time," said Ciara Lopez.
The investigation has been turned over to the Texas Rangers.
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