Family of Guatemalan woman shot dead by border agent sues

The family of a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman shot dead in 2018 by a U.S. Border Patrol agent filed a civil rights lawsuit Tuesday against the agent and the U.S. government.

The family of Claudia Gómez González is suing in federal court in Laredo, Texas, for unspecified actual and punitive damages.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed the lawsuit one year after filing a $100-million federal claim on the family’s behalf. The claim was filed one year after the May 23, 2018, shooting.

Marta Martinez was in her bedroom about a mile from the border in south Texas on Wednesday, preparing to attend her son’s end-of-year award ceremony at school, when she heard a gunshot.


Gómez González crossed the Texas-Mexico border with several other migrants when border agents confronted them in a vacant lot near Laredo. One agent shot Gómez González in the head, and she took moments to die, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit refers to only one of the 21 defendant agents by name, referring to the others as “Does 1-20.” The lawsuit alleges that one of the agents, or a combination of them, was responsible for the woman’s death and that she was the victim of excessive violence and a civil rights violation.

An email to the named agent seeking comment was not answered immediately.