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Valley family wants answers in FBI shooting

Posted at 10:38 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 01:38:39-04

EL MIRAGE, AZ — More than six weeks after their mother was shot and killed during an FBI task force traffic stop, the family of Melonee Duval is pushing for answers.

"We want justice for my daughter. We want answers; my daughter did not deserve what they did to her," said Billie Giordano, Duval's mother.

Duval was shot at least four times on June 19 during an FBI Task Force operation in El Mirage, near US-60 and Thompson Ranch Road.

The shooting happened while FBI officials were executing a felony arrest warrant for 32-year-old Ernesto Izaguirre. Duval was driving the vehicle Izaguirre was riding in, but the family claims the two did not know each other well and had met just weeks earlier.

"My mom didn’t know he was a bad guy," said Adriyanna Navarrette, Duval's daughter.

Relatives say Duval was shot twice in the face, and once in the leg and arm. She was in a coma for ten days after the shooting but eventually passed away at the hospital from her injuries. "The machine was breathing for her," said Navarrette.

The image of their mother in the hospital has haunted Duval's children. "She didn't look the same at all," said Isaac Navarrette, Duval's son. "In the movies, you know how you see the aliens and their brains look [larger]? That’s pretty much how my mom was."

The family and their attorney say they have not heard anything from the FBI since and received almost no information from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and El Mirage police.

"The FBI has not responded at all, no response, no acknowledgment of our letters," said Gail Barsky, the family's attorney with Mayes-Telles law firm. "We sent what’s called a preservation of evidence letter, asking them to preserve all the evidence...right now we are completely in the dark."

The family is also frustrated by the lack of information. They say their mother was unarmed and want to know why her truck and body were riddled with bullets.

"The reports are there, there’s no reason for them not to give them to us," said Adriyanna.

"We just want whoever did this held accountable," said Isaac. "We’re not going to rest until there’s justice."

"What really happened that day? What made them fire, what was going on?" said Barsky.

The FBI told ABC15 the investigation is ongoing, and that their shooting incident review team is conducting interviews and gathering information regarding the shooting.

They plan to submit their findings to a review board and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. There was no timeline for how long the investigation or review would take.