Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, 19, pictured, was fatally shot by a US Border Patrol agent in Rio Bravo, Texas
A 19-year-old Guatemalan immigrant has been shot dead by a US Border Patrol agent.
Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez died on Wednesday in Rio Bravo, Texas, after an unidentified agent came across her and three others whom he suspected had entered the country illegally.
As he tried to take the group into custody they reportedly charged at him and tried to attack him ‘using blunt objects’.
However the agency later changed its story and said the agent was rushed by other immigrants in the group.
The agent fired at least one shot, striking Gomez.
Gomez’s aunt Dominga Vicente appeared at a press conference on Friday in Guatemala City.
She explained that her niece had recently graduated as a forensic accountant but was unable to find a job.
The 19-year-old ultimately decided to leave Guatemala to escape a life of poverty.
She hoped to set up a new life in the US, following in the footsteps of hundreds of thousands of other Latin American people.
Gomez’s aunt, Dominga Vicente, pictured, said her niece had recently graduated as a forensic accountant but was unable to find a job, so she left Guatemala for the US to escape poverty
The altercation with Border Patrol was witnessed by a local resident named Marta Martinez, who started filming directly after the shot was fired.
A seven-minute video shows agents performing CPR on Gomez as Martinez yells ‘Why did you shoot the girl? You killed her!’ in Spanish from behind the camera.
Martinez told local news station KENS that the woman’s face was covered in blood, but that the agent claimed he didn’t kill her.
‘I felt very angry, I don’t know if I wanted to cry because what I was seeing, but I didn’t think it was right what they did,’ she said.
A video shows agents performing CPR on Gomez directly after the shot was fired. The woman taking the video can be heard yelling ‘Why did you shoot the girl? You killed her!’ in Spanish
The video was filmed by local resident Marta Martinez, pictured, who posted it to Facebook
Gomez’s blood is still visible in the area where she and three others were apprehended
Guatemalan officials confirmed that Gomez was entering the country illegally, but added that the rights of migrants should be respected.
‘Guatemala laments any act of violence and excessive use of force by the border patrol,’ the foreign ministry said in a statement.
In the press conference in the Guatemalan capital, Gomez’s family asked the US to stop treating migrants like ‘animals’.
‘To the government of the United States, [I ask] that you do not treat us like this – like animals – just because you are a powerful and developed country,’ Vicente told reporters.
Last week Trump called some illegal immigrants ‘animals’ when referring to criminal gangs such as MS-13, which has a presence across Central America.
He defended his statement on Wednesday, adding that he was working on a plan to reduce aid to those countries that he claims are not doing anything to stop gang members from crossing into the US.
Vicente appeared at a press conference in Guatemala City on Friday, where she asked the US to stop treating immigrants ‘like animals’, referring to a comment by Donald Trump last week
The FBI and Texas Rangers are currently investigating the shooting.
Border Patrol released a statement about the incident on Thursday:
On May 23, 2018, at approximately 12:22 p.m., a lone Border Patrol Agent responded to a report of illegal activity near a culvert by Centeno Lane in Rio Bravo, Texas where he discovered a group of illegal aliens.
Initial reports indicate that as the agent attempted to apprehend the group, he came under attack by multiple subjects using blunt objects. The agent fired at least one round from his service issued firearm, fatally wounding one of the assailants. The rest of the group fled the scene. Border Patrol Agents called for EMS and administered first aid until the Rio Bravo Fire Department arrived.
Three illegal aliens related to the incident were subsequently apprehended by responding agents.
The incident is currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Texas Rangers.