01/19/2011 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // Sandra Quinlan // Justice News Flash
El Paso, TX—The family of a 15-year-old Mexican boy who was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. government, alleging both wrongful death and civil rights violations. The lawsuit stems from a fatal June 7, 2010 shooting that took place at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to information provided by the Associated Press.
A Texas wrongful death attorney filed the lawsuit in El Paso, on behalf of the family of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, the 15-year-old Ciudad Juarez boy who was fatally shot near the bed of the Rio Grande.
The lawsuit, which seeks $25 million in damages, claims Hernandez and a group of boys ran up to the U.S. border fence but scurried away when a U.S. Border Patrol agent detained one of them. As an unarmed Hernandez watched the commotion from beneath the international bridge, a border agent fired two shots at him, including one to the face.
According to pending litigation, “More U.S. border agents arrived on the scene, the shooter picked up his bicycle, and then they all left. No one took any action to render emergency medical aid to Sergio, leaving him dead or dying beneath Paseo del Norte Bridge in the territory of Mexico. Shortly thereafter, Mexican police arrived on the scene and pronounced Sergio dead.”
On the other hand, FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons claimed several people on the Mexican side were throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents, thus apparently making it justifiable for the agents to use deadly force.
Nevertheless, eyewitnesses told a grand jury that the teen was an innocent passerby, alleging that there was no rocks were thrown at the agents prior to the fatal shooting. The lawsuit also contends Hernandez “had no weapon and was no imminent threat to the officer.”
Federal arrest records showed that Hernandez had been apprehended at least four times since 2008. He was apparently arrested twice in the same week in February 2009 after police accused him of attempted to smuggle illegal immigrants across the border. He was never charged.
While a spokesperson with U.S. Customs and Border Protection could not be reached for comment, the family’s lawyer stated, “Flip the situation. How would the American people respond if the (Mexican) federales fired a shot across the border and killed a 15-year-old American boy?”
The case continues.
Legal News Reporter: Justice News Flash – Legal News for Texas Wrongful Death Lawyers.
Url: Sandra Quinlan: West Palm Beach Injury News