- A woman who helped investigators after a 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart in Texas has been deported.
- The woman, identified only as Rosa publicly, was deported following a traffic stop.
- A legal aid group helping Rosa said she was “an important witness in the case against the alleged shooter & came out of the shadows to cooperate [with] law enforcement about what she saw.”
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A woman who survived a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and has since been helping investigators as a witness was deported on Friday following a traffic stop, her lawyers say.
The woman, who has only been identified publicly as Rosa, was arrested on Wednesday on two outstanding traffic citations from 2015 and deported to Mexico days later by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, the organisation Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services told KTSM.
Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, which helps low-income immigrants access legal aid, is calling for Rosa’s immediate return to the United States.
“Rosa is an important witness in the case against the alleged shooter & came out of the shadows to cooperate [with] law enforcement about what she saw,” the legal clinic said in a statement on Facebook.
Rosa was a witness to the El Paso Walmart shooting in 2019, in which 22 people were killed. A 23rd person died last year from injuries he sustained in the shooting.
Anna Hey, an attorney and Deputy Director of Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, told BuzzFeed News that Rosa told investigators she had seen the gunman, identified by investigators as Patrick Crusius, enter the store before the shooting.
Hey said Rosa received a certification from the El Paso District Attorney’s Office for cooperating with investigators, which allowed her to apply for a victims of criminal activity U Visa.
She was in the midst of applying when she was deported, Hey said.
“Some of the information that she had had not been corroborated yet by any other witnesses so it’s very important, whatever information she has, is important to building the case, which is another concern as to why they decided to remove her from the country,” Hey told KTSM.
Crusius, meanwhile, has been charged with capital murder and has pleaded not guilty in the mass shooting.
Prosecutors say Crusius posted an anti-immigrant manifesto online before the shooting and had told police that he was targeting Mexicans.
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