Gomez Vincente, et al., v. United States of American, et al.

Gomez Vincente, et al., v. United States of America, et al., No. 5:20-cv-00081 (S.D. Tex., filed May 12, 2020)

An unnamed Border Patrol Agent shot and killed Claudia Patricia Gómez González in Rio Bravo, Texas on May 23, 2018.

According to an administrative Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) complaint filed by Claudia’s parents with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Claudia was walking in Rio Bravo with several other people when the group was approached by the unknown Border Patrol Agent. Four of the individuals fled, while Claudia and another person stayed in the vacant lot where the CBP agent had approached them. The agent drew his weapon and shot Claudia in the head. She was unarmed and no one in the group did anything threatening or violent.

CBP issued a statement soon after the incident claiming that members of Claudia’s group had attacked the agent with “blunt objects.” They later retracted this statement.

The administrative complaint raises claims for battery, negligence, gross negligence, recklessness, and wrongful death. When the government filed to response, Claudia’s family filed a lawsuit on May 12, 2020, seeking damages under the FTCA for wrongful death and negligence, under Bivens for Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations, and under state law. On May 13, 2020, Plaintiffs’ filed an emergency motion for expedited discovery to identify the agents who shot Claudia.

Counsel: Kirkland & Ellis LLP; ACLU of Texas; ACLU Immigrant Rights Project

Contact: Yosef J. Reimer | 212-446-4802 | Yosef.riemer@kirkland.com