NEW YORK – Federal authorities investigated the shooting of a man in Brooklyn that involved U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, a case that inflamed passions around New York City’s sanctuary policies.
The shooting happened around 8:15 a.m. Thursday in the Bensonhurst neighborhood. Federal authorities were trying to arrest Gasper Avendano-Hernandez, a Mexican accused of being in the country unlawfully.
ICE said two of its officers were “physically attacked” during the arrest and taken to a hospital. At least one of the officers fired his weapon during the confrontation, striking a man accused of interfering with Avendano-Hernandez’s arrest.
That man, whose name was not released, received injuries that were not life-threatening, authorities said. It was not clear whether he was armed.
ICE released a statement saying New York City police arrested Avendano-Hernandez on Monday on a felony charge of possessing a forged instrument.
Federal authorities “attempted to lodge an immigration detainer” for his deportation, but he was released from custody, ICE said in its statement.
“This forced ICE officers to locate him on the streets of New York rather than in the safe confines of a jail,” ICE said.
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The shooting comes amid an escalating dispute between the administration of President Donald Trump and New York City over its sanctuary policies. ICE has expressed frustration that the city does not honor the majority of its detainer requests.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration said it complies with detainer requests for defendants only after they are convicted of a violent or serious felony. The city does not turn over defendants awaiting trial.
City Hall spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said in an email that “an ICE official shot someone and minutes later they attempted to point the finger at the NYPD.”
“If that’s not further proof that they’re simply a mouthpiece for a man who lies hundreds of times a day and has absolutely no regard for public safety, I don’t know what is,” she said.