Claudia Patricia Gómez Gonzáles had dreams of creating a better life for herself and believed she could do just that by fleeing Guatemala and entering the U.S. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ruined her chances of attaining a better life. Gonzáles was fatally shot Wednesday, May 23, by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent as she prepared to cross the American border into Rio Bravo, Texas.
As the case continues to unfold, here are five things to know about Claudia Patricia Gómez Gonzáles' circumstance.
1. She was a Guatemalan woman.
2. Her education was important.
She graduated with a degree in forensic accounting in 2016 and had plans to continue her education reports The Guardian, but lack of funds prevented her from doing so.
3. She sought a better life.
She wanted to go to school so badly, she left her home, alone, earlier this month in search of a better life for herself. CNN reports Gonzáles traveled 1,500 miles to the United States.
4. She did nothing wrong.
According to HuffPost, news of the incident spread quickly after Marta Martinez, a nearby resident, filmed the aftermath and posted it to Facebook. “Why did you shoot at the girl? You killed her!” the woman filming the video can be heard saying in Spanish, as she approached border patrol agents at the scene. “She wasn’t doing anything.”
5. She appeared to be "hiding."
According to BuzzFeed News, Martinez said, "The girl was in the grass and trees; to me, she was hiding." Although a few of the migrants threw rocks at some of the agents, Gonzáles appeared to hide behind a tree and did not have rocks in her hand. How hiding or rock throwing can be framed as a motive to kill is beyond us.
Watch the video recorded by Martinez here.
The agent who's responsible for Gonzáles' killing is on administrative leave. Further investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Texas Rangers with assistance from Customs and Border Patrol's Office of Professional Responsibility.