OKLAHOMA CITY – A man and his children are healing after they were attacked by three teens with BB guns.
A neighbor reported the attack because the family of undocumented immigrants was afraid to go to the authorities themselves.
It happened Monday afternoon near S. Walker and SW 59th St.
Mrs. Quintero arrived home with her daughters just in time to see three teens armed with what appeared to be real guns run out from behind her house.
She started to follow them, but when they noticed the weapons, they turned back and went home.
Quintero checked her backyard and discovered more strangers back there.
This time, it was a father, his two sons, and 6-year-old daughter.
He explained the teens chased them behind the home and were shooting at them with what turned out to be BB guns.
The BBs hit him in the shoulder, his 11-year-old son in the arm, and his young daughter in the leg.
“I was terrified,” Quintero said. “I’m still terrified. The little boy was holding his arm. I said, ‘Let me take you to the hospital, he’s bleeding.'”
Quintero tried to get him to report the crime to police or let her take them to the hospital but he refused. The family is from Honduras. Because they’re undocumented, he didn’t want to involve authorities for fear of deportation.
“I feel for that family right now, I really do, and I wish we could help these people out because they need help, they need our help,” Quintero said. “You can be legal or illegal, it doesn’t matter. You cannot be victims of these crimes.”
She drove them home, then called police herself to report the incident. She said the teens have been terrorizing the neighborhood and wants to see them stopped.
Immigration attorney Lawrence Davis said he understands why the family fears speaking to police. However, in Oklahoma City, he said officers will not turn victims’ immigration status over to ICE.
“They can`t let that fear prevent them from trying to prosecute these people that are perpetrating crimes against them,” Davis said.
Oklahoma City Police encourage victims to come forward because, without them, it can be difficult or impossible to prosecute a case. In fact, Davis said if undocumented immigrants help prosecute a case, it can help provide short-term and long-term immigration relief.
Quintero said she intends to help the family report the attack to police.
“I wish I could do more for them because it’s not right,” Quintero said.