Felix Torres, a 53-year-old Chicago resident, is now battling for his life in hospital after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent shot him outside his home.
Officers claim that they came to the man’s house in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood on the Northwest Side of Chicago to make an arrest, when someone pointed a gun at them, causing them to shoot Torres. However, Carmen Torres, the victim’s daughter who was present at the scene, says that her father doesn’t even own a gun.
“They didn’t say anything. They just came in and pointed pistols in our faces and dragged us out. It’s a lie when they say he was holding a gun. He doesn’t even own a gun. They shot my dad. They shot him, and I don’t know why,” said Carmen.
“My dad just went to see what's going on. He just opened the door and they just shot him,” she added.
According to Carmen, the agents showed up at their Chicago home, where the family had lived for 30 years, at 6 a.m. on March 27.
Chicago’s People’s Response Team, an activist organization that works to end police violence in the city, noted that there were at least eight family members in the home when the raid took place.
The family’s neighbors, Gabriela Lucatero and her husband, captured a video of the incident on their cell phone and claim that the agents told Torres and bystanders to get down on the floor.
"One of the cops was saying to come out with his hands up," Lucatero added.
While ICE officials claim that they were not at Torres' home to arrest him, they have not given any reason as to why they burst into his home early in the morning and shot Torres in front of his family. Torres was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition, and is now being treated for his wounds.
“We’re going to have to talk to Chicago Police Department to find out if this was a coordinated effort, because if it was in any way, that raises concerns about us as a sanctuary city,” said Alderman Gilbert Villegas, a city official.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Bryan Cox