US urged to complete probe of 2010 border death

May 10, 2012
FILE - In this June 19,2010 file photo showing relatives and friends of Anastasio Hernandez carrying a casket out of a church after funeral services in San Diego. Hernandez died May 28 after being shocked by a stun gun during a fight with U.S. Border Patrol agents as they were escorting him to a border gate to return him to Mexico. The mother of Hernandez who died after U.S. border authorities shot him with a stun gun plans to leave for Washington to demand answers in a federal investigation that has lasted nearly two years. Her trip comes after a new video surfaced showing the incident. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull,File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The mother of a Mexican man who died after U.S. border authorities shot him several times with a stun gun in San Diego was in the nation's capital to demand answers in an investigation that has lasted nearly two years.

Luz Rojas' two-day visit began Wednesday and follows the release of a video that appears to show 42-year-old Antastasio Hernandez being shot while lying on the ground, surrounded by about a dozen agents May 28, 2010.

"We're going on two years now and we haven't had any response," said Rojas, who can't bear to watch the video herself because it is too painful.

Rojas, 60, and several federal lawmakers planned to deliver a petition with 32,000 signatures to U.S. Justice Department headquarters demanding answers about Hernandez's death and several others they link to Border Patrol agents.

The video was provided to The Associated Press by journalist John Carlos Frey, who obtained it from a witness.

"He was convulsing," the witness, Ashley Young, told PBS, which aired the video last month.

A Justice Department spokesman, Xochitl Hinojosa, declined to comment on the video or on the status of the investigation, saying it is not complete.

A San Diego County coroner's autopsy found that Hernandez died of a heart attack, with a heart condition and methamphetamine use listed as contributing factors. The autopsy said Hernandez was unresponsive shortly after he was shot with a stun gun, apparently three or four times.

Authorities say Hernandez was resisting agents as they were trying to return him to Mexico at San Diego's San Ysidro port of entry, the nation's busiest border crossing. The illegal immigrant and longtime San Diego resident had been deported May 25, and the Border Patrol arrested him when he tried to return to the U.S. three days later.