ICE agent shoots man in face during deportation fight in Brooklyn

GRAVESEND, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent shot a man in the face who tried to intervene in a deportation arrest in Brooklyn Thursday morning.

It happened on 12th Street in the Gravesend section just before 8:15 a.m.

Authorities say the on-duty ICE agent fired his weapon while trying to serve a deportation order to Gaspar Avendano Hernandez.

As the officers attempted to detain Avendano Hernandez, they apparently got into a scuffle with his girlfriend's son, Eric Cruz.

The agent fired his gun, hitting the 26-year-old Cruz in the face.

He suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Maimonides Hospital.

"He resisted because they didn't show him no papers, like 'Oh I'm the police,' no badge, no nothing, no warrant, no nothing," eyewitness Kevin Yanez Cruz said. "They just tackled him, and that's why he reacted the way he reacted. He didn't say, 'Get down,' he didn't say nothing. And he didn't have nothing, my brother, he didn't have no weapons in his hands, nothing. The minute they're tackling him, they get up to the door step, I'm here, my brother is here, he thought I was going to get involved, and he pointed the gun at my brother and didn't even hesitate and pulled the trigger."

Avendano Hernandez was hit with a Taser and was taken into custody. He was also taken to the hospital.

The victim's family stood outside the hospital with angry protesters later Thursday night.

"ICE coming in like a bunch of renegades and people are being hurt, we don't need ice in our communities," said Hawk Newsome with Black Lives Matter.

There was no NYPD involvement in the shooting, though ICE agents reportedly contacted the NYPD. An investigation is underway.

"A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Fugitive Operations Team discharged at least one firearm in Brooklyn, New York, Thursday morning when officers were physically attacked while attempting to arrest Gasper Avendando-Hernandez, a twice-removed illegal alien from Mexico with a 2011 assault conviction in New York City," ICE said in a statement. "The New York Police Department arrested Avendando-Hernandez Feb. 3 for possession of a forged instrument, a felony criminal charge. ICE attempted to lodge an immigration detainer after his most recent arrest, however the subject was released from local custody before ICE could lodge a detainer. This forced ICE officers to locate him on the streets of New York rather than in the safe confines of a jail. Avendando-Hernandez is currently in ICE custody, along with one additional individual whose identity has not been released. Two ICE officers were transported to a local hospital for treatment. This incident is being investigated by the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. Additional details are not available at this time."

Avendano Hernandez was stopped by the NYPD for driving with a forged Connecticut license plate earlier this week and he has a prior domestic violence history, but no arrests since 2016.

ICE learned of the license plate incident and began steps to deport him.

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