The 15-year-old Mexican boy who was shot dead by a Border Patrol agent as U.S. authorities came under attack along the border Tuesday was known to authorities as a juvenile smuggler, sources close to the investigation told Fox News.
Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka was shot once near the eye as U.S. Border Patrol agents on bicycles were “assaulted with rocks” as they tried to detain illegal immigrants on the Texas side of the Rio Grande.
Huereka was charged with alien smuggling in 2009, according to sources who requested anonymity. Further details were not immediately available.
“He is a known juvenile smuggler,” a source told Fox News. He was also on a “most wanted” list of juvenile smugglers compiled by U.S. authorities in the El Paso area, sources said.
Heureka’s death marked the second time a Mexican citizen has been killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in as many weeks, stoking tensions along the border between the nations.
Roughly 30 relatives and friends gathered late Tuesday to mourn the boy, who died on the Mexican side of the river.
“Damn them! Damn them!” the boy’s sister, Rosario Hernandez, sobbed at a wake in the family’s two-room adobe house on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez.
“There is a God, so why would I want vengeance if no one will return him to me. They killed my little boy and the only thing I ask is for the law” to be applied, said the boy’s father, Jesus Hernandez.
His mother was less hopeful. “May God forgive them because I know nothing will happen” to them,” Maria Guadalupe Huereka said.
Border Patrol Special Operations Supervisor Ramiro Cordero said preliminary reports indicate that U.S. officers on bicycle patrol were “assaulted with rocks” by an unknown number of people before Herueka was shot.
“During the assault at least one agent discharged his firearm,” Cordero said. “The agent is currently on administrative leave. A thorough, multi-agency investigation is currently ongoing.”
A U.S. official told the Associated Press that video of the incident shows the Border Patrol agent did not enter Mexico.
The unidentified official said the video also shows what seem to be four Mexican law enforcement officers driving to the edge of the muddy bed of the Rio Grande, walking across to the U.S. side, picking up an undetermined object and returning to Mexico near the area where the boy’s body lay. Like their U.S. counterparts, Mexican law officers are not authorized to cross the border without permission.
A Mexican migrant, Anastasio Hernandez, 32, died less than two weeks ago after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer shocked him with a stun gun at the San Ysidro border crossing, which separates San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. The San Diego medical examiner’s office ruled that death a homicide.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Tuesday that his government “will use all resources available to protect the rights of Mexican migrants.”
The government “reiterates its rejection to the disproportionate use of force on the part on U.S. authorities on the border with Mexico,” the president added in a statement.