Son says shooting of mom during DEA raid was a mistake
MANCHESTER — Lilian Alonzo, the grandmother shot late last month during a DEA drug raid at her apartment, was picking up an infant when a bullet ripped through her arm and entered her torso, her son told the New Hampshire Union Leader.
The son said agents later tore up Alonzo’s apartment in a search for drugs. No drugs, weapons or large amounts of cash were found, said Daniel Nunez, who returned to his home in Florida after spending the last two weeks with his mother.
He said the shooting took place after his 10-year-old sister opened the door and police barged into the apartment.
“She (Alonzo) went to pick up the baby. They thought she was reaching for something, and they shot her,” Nunez believes.
Armed with a search warrant, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raided the third-floor apartment at 110 Beech St. on Aug. 27, the day authorities broke up a drug ring that involved the transport and sale of large amounts of oxycodone.
According to police statements and court affidavits, police confiscated 1,600 tablets in arrests earlier in the day at other locations. The investigation has netted nine arrests and the confiscation of $58,000, guns and drugs.
Two of those arrested were Alonzo’s daughters — Johanna Nunez and Jennifer Nunez. Neither lives with their mother.
An investigation of the shooting is being handled by New Hampshire Attorney General Joe Foster, whose office takes charge of any investigations involving police shootings.
At the time, Foster’s office said “one of the officer’s weapons discharged,” but would give no other details of the incident. A source said the AG’s investigation focuses on whether the shooting was accidental.
Assistant Attorney General Stacey Pawlik said Thursday that a preliminary report into the shooting may be ready by the end of next week. She would answer no questions about the shooting.
A check of New Hampshire courts found no record of arrests involving Alonzo in New Hampshire. The affidavit to justify the search of Alonzo’s apartment remains sealed.
Daniel Nunez said his mother, who is 49, knew nothing about what her daughters were up to.
Alonzo had lived in her apartment for about six years, and she often baby-sat the young children of Jennifer and Johanna, Daniel Nunez said. She now lives elsewhere in Manchester, he said.
Manchester lawyer Andru Volinsky said he has spoken to Alonzo and is researching her case but has not agreed to represent her yet.
On the evening of the raid, three children were in the apartment: Alonzo’s 10-year-old daughter, and her grandchildren: ages 4 and 1 1/2, Daniel Nunez said.
Daniel Nunez said he’s shocked that heavily armed police barged into the apartment. The case had been going on for nearly a year, so authorities knew that young children frequented the apartment, he said.
Two bullets were fired, Daniel Nunez said. One went through Alonzo’s arm and lodged in her left rib cage. The other entered an apartment wall, he said. His mother needed 30 stitches, and the bullet remains in her, Nunez said.
U.S. Attorney John Kacavas has said it is unlikely that Alonzo will face federal charges.
“They didn’t find anything at all or else my mom would have been arrested,” Nunez said. “Mom had nothing to do with this.”