- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 9, 2010

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A federal official tells The Associated Press that the FBI has opened a civil rights probe as part of the investigation into the shooting of a 15-year-old Mexican boy by a U.S. Border Patrol agent at the international boundary with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The FBI formally added the civil rights portion to its broader investigation into the alleged assault on theBorder Patrol agent, said the official, who was familiar with investigation, but was not authorized to speak on the subject.

On Monday, a still-unidentified Border Patrol agent trying to arrest illegal immigrants running into the United States fired his weapon from the U.S. side into Mexico, killing 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka. People on the Mexican side were throwing rocks at the arresting agents, but it’s unclear whether Hernandez was throwing rocks.

** Earlier story **

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — U.S. authorities said Tuesday a Border Patrol agent was defending himself and colleagues when he fatally shot the 15-year-old as officers came under a barrage of big stones while trying to detain illegal immigrants on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande.

About 30 relatives and friends gathered late Tuesday to mourn the boy, whose shooting last week came along the border with Texas. He died on the Mexican side of the river.

“Damn them! Damn them!” sobbed Rosario Hernandez, sister of the dead teenager, at a wake in the family’s two-room adobe house on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez.

The shooting outraged Mexico, which was also angry at Arizona’s tough new immigration law.

Preliminary reports on the incident indicated that U.S. officers on bicycle patrol “were assaulted with rocks by an unknown number of people,” Border Patrol Special Operations Supervisor Ramiro Cordero said Tuesday.

“During the assault at least one agent discharged his firearm,” he said. “The agent is currently on administrative leave. A thorough, multi-agency investigation is currently ongoing.”

On an unpaved street, gathered around the boy’s gray metal casket, the teen’s family called for justice.

“There is a God, so why would I want vengeance if no one will return him to me. They killed my little boy and the only thing I ask is for the law” to be applied, said the boy’s father, Jesus Hernandez.

His mother was less hopeful. “May God forgive them because I know nothing will happen” to them, Maria Guadalupe Huereka said.

Above the casket was a photo of the youth wearing his soccer uniform and his junior high school grade cards, which showed A’s and B’s.

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