ICE Agents Shoot Latino Man in the Face as He Tried to Stop a Deportation Arrest

Lead Photo: Law enforcement officer watching the streets.
Law enforcement officer watching the streets.
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On Thursday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents shot a Latino man in the face in Brooklyn, New York as he attempted to stop the deportation arrest of another man.

The incident began at 8:15 a.m. in the Gravesend neighborhood. Agents went to the house of Gaspar Avendano Hernandez, a 33-year-old Mexican man who was pulled over by the NYPD earlier this week for driving with a forged Connecticut license plate, to serve him a deportation order after learning about the arrest.

During the process, Eric Diaz-Cruz, the 26-year-old son of Hernandez’s girlfriend, came to the man’s defense. That’s when the agents shot Diaz-Cruz, who was unarmed, in the face. Hernandez, who was heading to work in a taxi and was planning to obtain legal plates on Friday to avoid risking another arrest, was also tased in the incident.

According to Diaz’s 19-year-old brother Kevin Yanez Cruz, the ICE agents, at least one of them Latino, didn’t identify themselves or show an arrest warrant, which prompted Diaz to intervene.

“He pointed the gun at my brother and didn’t even hesitate and pulled the trigger,” Cruz said, according to The Hill

ICE released a statement alleging the agents were “physically attacked while attempting to arrest” Hernandez.

“A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Fugitive Operations Team discharged at least one firearm in Brooklyn, New York, Thursday morning when officers were physically attacked while attempting to arrest Gasper Avendando-Hernandez, a twice-removed illegal alien from Mexico with a 2011 assault conviction in New York City,” the statement reads.

According to the Daily News, Hernandez was previously deported to Mexico in April 2011.

Both men were taken to a local hospital. Diaz-Cruz is listed as being in critical but stable condition.

The incident is being “investigated by the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.”