"Our family is broken": Grandmother of boy killed by Border Patrol speaks out

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"Our family is broken": Grandmother of boy killed by Border Patrol speaks out

CREATED Oct 15, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The Border Patrol said the 16-year-old boy was a lethal threat, throwing rocks across from Mexico into the U.S. But the boy's family told a different story.

Taide Elena's eyes can't hide the pain. The sad truth is that her 16-year-old grandson, Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, won't be coming home because of what happened along the border.

"La familia ya no esta completa," Elena said. Our family is broken, she added. Nothing will ever be the same, there's just an overwhelming sense of loneliness.

Elena told 9 On Your Side that her grandson was full of life, your average boy with larger than life dreams. He wanted to finish high school and join the military.

"Era un nino muy lindo," Elena said. He was just sweet, she explaied. He had a good heart, always obedient, always had his sight on the future. A future that now will never happen.

Border Patrol said the boy was a threat, throwing rocks across the iron fence, but this grandmother doesn't buy what they're saying about her boy.

"Claro que no," Elena said. No way, she added. I know it's not true because there are no rocks along that stretch.

Whether that's true or not, remains to be seen. The answer could lie in the cameras right above where it all happened. It's the place where Jose took seven bullets, two to the head, several more to the lungs. The surveillance video is now in the hands of the FBI.

"The family does feel seven bullets is seven bullets," said Luis Parra, the family's attorney.

Parra won't call it a use of excess force just yet, but he said the number of bullets found in the 16-year-old speaks for itself, but the family is demanding action.

"Yo pido justicia, yo quiero justicia," Elena said. I want justice she pleads. Things have to change.

"No quiero que otros padres y otras madres," Elena goes on, I don't want any other fathers or mothers to feel the same pain I feel. She said there needs to be a change in policy because her grandson was not the first to be gunned down.

There have been four rock assaults along the border in Nogales since 2012. Prior to this one, only one had been deadly. Border Patrol does allow its agents to use lethal force in response to rock throwers.

The boy's full autopsy is expected to be released later this week.