Protesters have been gathering outside a New York hospital where a Mexican man is being treated after he was shot in the face by ICE agents.
Erick Diaz, a 26-year-old Mexican national, was shot by the immigration and customs agents in Brooklyn on Thursday as they were trying to arrest his mother’s boyfriend.
ICE agents say they were serving a deportation order to Mexican immigrant Armando Gaspar Avendando-Hernandez when Diaz intervened.
Diaz allegedly got into a scuffle with one of the agents.
The officer then fired his gun and a bullet went through Diaz’s cheek and became lodged in his neck.
Diaz was rushed to the Maimonides Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
Immigration activists have since been gathering outside the hospital to protest the shooting.
The protesters slammed ICE and accused the agents of using aggressive force.
Among the protesters outside the hospital was chairman of the Immigration Committee and Councilman Carlos Menchaca.
‘This is extremely distressing. My heart is heavy thinking about what has happened. ICE must answer quickly and clearly why force was used. The city needs answers and I’ll be joining advocates in Brooklyn to support the community and learn what we can,’ he tweeted.
Avendando-Hernandez, the man who was being served the deportation order, is currently in custody.
He was tased by ICE agents at the scene.
The shooting victim’s family claim ICE agents didn’t identify themselves before attempting to take Avendando-Hernandez into custody.
Diaz’s brother, Kevin Yanez Cruz, told ABC7 that he had picked up Avendando-Hernandez and they were on their way to work.
He said they had to quickly got back home after Avendando-Hernandez forgot something.
Avendando-Hernandez was rushing toward the home when ICE agents tackled him in the yard, Yanez Cruz claims.
Diaz the ran outside to see what was happening after hearing the commotion, which is when the agent pulled out his gun.
‘He pointed the gun at my brother and didn’t even hesitate and pulled the trigger,’ Yanez Cruz said.
Yanez Cruz said his brother had only just come to New York from Mexico with his girlfriend. The couple planned to stay in the U.S. for six months before heading back to Mexico.
ICE agents, however, claim they were attacked trying to arrest Avendando-Hernandez.
‘A US 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,’ ICE said in a statement.
The agency was referring to an arrest that occurred on February 3 when New York police officers took Avendando-Hernandez into custody for ‘possession of a forged instrument’.
That particular instrument was a forged Connecticut license plate, authorities said.
‘ICE attempted to lodge an immigration detainer after his most recent arrest, however the subject was released from local custody before ICE could lodge a detainer. This forced ICE officers to locate him on the streets of New York rather than in the safe confines of a jail,’ the statement said.
Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.