A grieving mother who lost her 19 year old son when he was shot and killed by a Border Patrol Agent is now suing the agency, saying that the shooting was “an appalling use of excessive force”. Guadallupe Guerrero’s son, Carlos La Madrid was shot in the back twice and once in the leg as he climbed a ladder on the US side of a Mexico border fence. Guerrero said that the Border Patrol did not have the right to take her son’s life, even if what they say was true, that Carlos LaMadrid had some marijuana in his truck, an allegation she contends.
Lucas Tidwell is the agent that shot the Arizona man who was unarmed, and died about five hours after languishing in pain at an area hospital. The incident happened in March of 2011 and got little media attention. Guerrero, speaking in Spanish on what would have been her son’s 21’s birthday this week asked “Who are the border agents to play God?” Guerrero said her son was a good student and studying agriculture in college in hopes of having his own farm. She said that he didn’t have drugs, but even if he did have marijuana in his truck, she asked if that was dangerous enough to kill an unarmed boy, and an American Citizen. She asked why the border patrol agents did not just take her son to jail. She reports that La Madrid’s two younger siblings and the rest of his extended family are still devastated by his death.
A police report from the incident said that officers were responding to a tip about a car loading drugs when they tried to stop La Madrid and another teen, 17-year-old Jesus Manuel Chino Lino. The driver, La Madrid, ran from the police and that chase ended a short time later at the border wall. La Madrid got out of the car, and began climbing a fence that was propped up on the border wall. As La Madrid climbed the fence, one of the men began throwing rocks at Tidwell’s vehicle, hitting the windshield twice, according to the police report. That’s when Tidwell shot La Madrid, whose back was turned and who hadn’t thrown any rocks. At least one bullet was fired from inside the vehicle, according to the report. The unarmed teen fell to the ground.
Police reported finding a burlap sack of marijuana weighing 48 pounds in La Madrid’s car. The sheriff’s report did not include an interview with Tidwell. A sheriff’s spokesperson said it was because they “were not provided access to the agent.” The report also said that the Border Patrol did not cooperate with sheriff’s investigators, telling one officer that “she could not speak to anyone, or do anything, without the FBI.” The sheriff’s office was in charge of investigating the shooting, and the FBI was investigating the rock-throwing. Guerrero is seeking an undisclosed amount of money in her lawsuit against the government and the agent that she filed last month. If she wins any monetary damages, she says all the money will go to start a nonprofit group to help poor children in the US.