(CNN)The ACLU of Texas has filed a claim seeking $100 million in damages for the family of a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman who was shot and killed by a US Border Patrol agent.
The claim, filed Thursday by the ACLU and the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP, alleges that neither Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez nor the group she was traveling with posed any threat to the agent who shot her.”The family wants to know what happened. The family wants to know who killed their daughter. And the family wants to know what the government is going to do to hold this agent accountable,” Edgar Saldivar, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Texas, told CNN on Friday.US Customs and Border Protection declined to comment on the claim, citing its policy against commenting on pending litigation. The agency hasn’t released the name of the agent involved in the shooting or details about the investigation into what occurred. Gomez was shot on May 23, 2018, in Rio Bravo, Texas, a small border town about 170 miles south of San Antonio. Her family told CNN last year that she’d headed to the United States to find work after being unable to find a job in Guatemala. Read MoreShe came to the US for a better life. Shortly after her arrival, she was killedCBP’s first report of the shooting said a Border Patrol agent had opened fire after he was attacked by migrants armed with “blunt objects” and had fatally wounded “one of the assailants.” But days after the shooting, the agency changed its official account of what had happened, removing any mention of “blunt objects” and saying instead that the group “rushed” the officer after ignoring orders to get on the ground. Its revised statement also described the gunshot victim as a “member of the group” rather than as an assailant. Agents arrested three undocumented immigrants after the shooting, CBP said at the time.Evidence doesn’t support CBP’s initial account of what occurred, Saldivar says. “No one other than the agent had any weapons,” the claim filed this week says. “No one in the group did anything that could remotely be construed as threatening or violent, let alone as posing any imminent danger of serious physical injury or death.”The claim argues that CBP and the Department of Homeland Security breached their duty and are liable for Gomez’s death for a number of reasons, alleging the government “failed to supervise the agent to ensure the agent took reasonable steps to avoid harm to others” and “failed to train the agent to ensure that the agent did not unlawfully use lethal force.” Border Patrol slightly changes account of undocumented woman's fatal shootingDHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the claim.The filing is what’s known as an administrative claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. If it’s not resolved in six months, Gomez’s parents can file a federal lawsuit. In a written statement released by the ACLU, Gomez’s father said the shooting had forever changed his family.”We will forever have an emptiness in our hearts because an agent of the U.S. government took Claudia’s life in such a horrific and unnecessary way,” Gilberto Gomez Vicente said. “Claudia was a kind, loving, and peaceful girl with big dreams, who would never do anything to harm anyone. My promise to Claudia is to fight for justice sot hat her life is not forgotten and her death is not in vain.”