Border Patrol Agent Shoots and Kills Unarmed Migrant Woman

A U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed an unarmed undocumented woman in Texas Wednesday, the agency said in a statement.

Identified as 20-year-old Claudia Gómez González, the woman was with a group of undocumented immigrants in the border town Rio Bravo when an agent approached them while looking for “illegal activity.” The officer came under attack with “blunt objects,” according to the CBP statement, and fired at least one shot that hit González in the head.

The agent gave the woman CPR but she later died, the statement said. The FBI and Texas Rangers are now both investigating her killing.

The aftermath of the shooting was captured on video and posted to Facebook by Marta Martinez, who told the New York Times that the immigrants did not attack the Border Patrol agent. “There was no weapon. They were hiding,” she said.

“Why do you mistreat them?” Martinez can be heard shouting in Spanish in the video, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Why did you shoot the woman? You killed the woman!”

“They shot her in the head for running,” she said. “They killed her.”

Aura Bogado, a reporter for Reveal, tweeted that González was from Guatemala and had just crossed the border.

González’s killing has the Texas branch of the ACLU renewing calls for Border Patrol agents to be outfitted with body cameras. “While we do not yet have all the facts in this case, Border Patrol’s history of violence against immigrants requires us to scrutinize every incident involving lethal force closely,” Astrid Dominguez, director of the group’s Border Rights Center, said in a statement.

“We demand that Border Patrol expand its use of body cameras to include each and every one of its agents in the field,” she said.

In response to the shooting, the Laredo Immigrant Alliance (LIA) is holding a vigil Saturday to honor the lives lost on the border. “Laredo Immigrant Alliance is outraged by the actions taken by the border patrol agent that shot and killed a young undocumented woman,” the group said in a statement.

Wednesday’s shooting comes as tensions at the border have increased following the deployment of the National Guard, which has been “a colossal waste of resources” according to the president of the National Border Patrol Council. President Trump wants even more boots on the ground though, and has asked Congress to provide funding for 5,000 more CBP agents in 2019.

Locals don’t want that and are pushing back against the further militarization of the border. “Laredo is very safe — we don’t need a massive amount of border patrol or national guard,” Karina Alvarez, a founder of Laredo Immigrant Alliance, told HuffPo. “They see us as animals. And it’s very frightening to live in a border town now.”

Border Patrol Agent Shoots and Kills Unarmed Migrant Woman