A U.S. border patrol agent shot dead a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman in Rio Bravo, Texas, near the border with Mexico on Wednesday.
The U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said the agent involved in the shooting was responding to "a report of criminal activity" near a sewer, according to AFP. Firefighters reported that the victim, named by her family as Claudia Gomez, was shot in the head.
The CBP said the agent saw a group of suspected illegal immigrants and ordered them to throw themselves on the ground, according to Yahoo Noticias. The group allegedly ignored the order and attacked the agent, who fired several shots from his service weapon. Gomez was struck, while the rest of the group fled.
"We want justice and that her killer is imprisoned," said Dominga Vicente, the victim's aunt, in the capital city of Guatemala. She said she had spoken with Gomez's mother the day before the victim was killed and was told Claudia was fine.
Donned in traditional Mayan attire, Vicente said Gomez had left for the United States in early March to improve her standard of living. She had graduated from middle school two years ago, but was unable to enter university.
Marta Martinez, a witness, denied that the U.S. border patrol agent was attacked. "Why did you shoot the girl? You killed her; he killed the girl! There she is, the girl is dead," she said in a Facebook video post shortly after hearing the fatal gunshot.
She also told Univision that she did not hear the agent say: "Stop, stop, don't run. You just heard the bullet."
The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry "rejects any act of violence and the excessive use of force by U.S. border patrol," and has requested a "thorough and impartial investigation," it said in a statement.