ORLANDO, Fla. — A Mexican national involved in the shooting death of a 2-year-old relative was arrested and charged on a federal criminal complaint Friday with possession of a firearm by an illegal alien.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Ocoee Police Department.
According to the arrest affidavit, Ocoee police officers contacted Luis Javier Farias-Mendoza, 20, at Health Central Hospital on Dec. 26, when hospital personnel reported that a 2-year-old child had been admitted with a gunshot wound to the head. After being advised of his constitutional rights, Farias-Mendoza admitted that he had been trying to put away his .22 caliber pistol when it discharged through the wall of his bedroom. After hearing yelling in the adjacent bedroom, Farias-Mendoza had set the pistol down and discovered that his 2-year-old cousin had been shot in the head. The child later died from the injury. Authorities subsequently recovered the .22 caliber pistol that had been in the home.
Upon further questioning, Farias-Mendoza admitted that he had purchased the firearm a year earlier and had been shooting it as recently as Christmas Eve, from a moving vehicle on local roadways. He acknowledged that he is a Mexican citizen and in the United States illegally, a fact subsequently confirmed by federal officials from ICE. As an illegal alien, Farias-Mendoza is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law.
If convicted, Farias-Mendoza faces up 10 years in federal prison.