Man shot in face by ICE agent in Brooklyn, mayor's office says agency 'has absolutely no regard for public safety'

Kimberly Dole
February 06, 2020 - 6:45 pm
ICE shooting

Courtesy of family

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A man was shot in the face by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer in Brooklyn on Wednesday morning. 

The shooting occurred at approximately 8:15 a.m. at West 12th Street in the Gravesend section, authorities say.

Federal authorities were trying to arrest Gasper Avendano-Hernandez, a Mexican accused of being in the country unlawfully.

He was recently arrested again on a forgery charge, officials said.

His girlfriend's 19-year-old son, Kevin Yanez Cruz, told 1010 WINS he and Avendano-Hernandez were on their way back to work when the ICE agents grabbed him. He then resisted.

"He resisted because they didn't show him no papers, like 'oh, we're the police,'" Cruz said. "No badge, no nothing. No warrant, no nothing. They just tackled the s*** out of him. That's why he reacted the way he reacted."

Cruz said his 26-year-old brother, Eric Diaz Cruz, came out of the house and an ICE agent shot him in the face. He is in stable condition. 

ICE Agent Involved in Shooting @CitizenApp

1766 W 12th St 8:14:07 AM EST

ICE shooting victim
Sonia Rincon/ 1010 WINS

ICE released a statement saying New York City police arrested Avendano-Hernandez on Monday on a felony charge of possessing a forged instrument. 

Federal authorities "attempted to lodge an immigration detainer'' for his deportation, but he was released from custody, ICE said in its statement. 

"This forced ICE officers to locate him on the streets of New York rather than in the safe confines of a jail,'' ICE said. 

The shooting comes amid an escalating dispute between the administration of President Donald Trump and New York City over its sanctuary policies. ICE has expressed frustration in recent weeks that the city does not honor the vast majority of its detainer requests. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration has said it complies with detainer requests for defendants only after they are convicted of a violent or serious felony. The city does not turn over defendants awaiting trial. 

City Hall spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said in email that "an ICE official shot someone and minutes later they attempted to point the finger at the NYPD.'' 

If that's not further proof that they're simply a mouthpiece for a man who lies hundreds of times a day and has absolutely no regard for public safety, I don't know what is,'' she said.

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