An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent reportedly shot a man in the face while trying to arrest his mother’s boyfriend in Brooklyn on Thursday morning.
The ICE agents were trying to serve a deportation order to Gaspar Avendano-Hernandez, a 33-year-old undocumented immigrant. Eric Cruz, who is his girlfriend’s 26-year-old son, intervened when they attempted to detain Avendano-Hernandez. Cruz “physically attacked” the arresting agents, according to the New York Post which spoke with an ICE spokeswoman and law enforcement sources.
An ICE source told the Post that Cruz was trying to reach for the agent’s gun.
The agent then fired his gun, ABC7NY reports. The bullet went through Cruz’s hand and into his face. Cruz, who was also arrested for intervening, was taken to Maimonides Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
In a video shared on Facebook, Cruz’s brother Kevin Yanez-Cruz said Cruz was just passing by when ICE shot him.
“He wasn’t getting involved. He was just going to pass by. … And that’s when they shot him,” he says in the video.
BREAKING: This is Kevin.. he says his brother was the man who was shot in the face by an ICE Agent!There is a lot of background information from both ICE and this family. What we know so far -> http://brooklyn.news12.com/story/41668276/police-man-shot-in-face-during-immigration-operationPosted by Katie Lusso on Thursday, February 6, 2020
In a statement to the Daily Dot, ICE acknowledged one of its agents “discharged at least one firearm” during the Avendano-Hernandez’s arrest, and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is currently investigating the incident.
According to its statement, Avendano-Hernandez had been deported from the U.S. twice before and was convicted of a 2011 assault in New York.
Protesters have since gathered outside the hospital where Cruz, who is in stable but critical condition, is at.
UPDATE: Protesters are gathering at Maimonides Medical Center, where a victim of the ICE-involved shooting was transported. A Citizen user shows NYPD units in the area. There may also be an ICE presence in the area. Follow along here: https://t.co/XRP5wuI9B6 pic.twitter.com/dsy8esUrmw— Citizen New York (@CitizenAppNYC) February 6, 2020
PLS AMPLIFY: Emergency gathering at Maimonides (ER entrance on 49th and Ft Hamilton Pkwy). One of the unarmed men who was shot by ICE during an attempted arrest is in critical condition here. There 7 ICE cars waiting for him here. He cannot he moved in critical condition. pic.twitter.com/hpX0A7Z63R— Whitney Hu 胡安行 (@whitney_hu) February 6, 2020
ICE Has vehicles surrounding the hospital where the man was shot in the face. #abolishICE Join is at— Meryl #NeverAgain Ranzer (@merylnyc) February 6, 2020
Maimonides Medical Center, 10th & 45th Brooklyn. NOW!#ICEshotamanintheface pic.twitter.com/MgILiWKvJE
People gathering outside of Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn (corner of 49th st & Fort Hamilton) right now. Supposedly, an ICE agent shot someone in the face while they were trying to detain them. That person is in the hospital now but folks think ICE may try to deport them still. pic.twitter.com/acON0U06MY— Ash J (@AshAgony) February 6, 2020
ICE said in the statement to the Daily Dot that two of its officers were taken to a local hospital for treatment, and Avendano-Hernandez is currently in its custody, along with another unidentified person.