OKLAHOMA CITY — A man and his children were attacked by three teens with BB guns Monday afternoon, and a neighbor reported the attack because the family, who is undocumented, was afraid to go to the authorities.
The neighbor arrived home with her daughters and saw three teens armed with what appeared to be real guns run out from behind her house.
She started to follow them, but turned back when she noticed the weapons. In her backyard, the woman found more strangers: 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 BB guns.
The BB guns hit the man in the shoulder, his 11-year-old son in the arm, and his young daughter in the leg.
The woman 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, and because they’re undocumented, he didn’t want to involve authorities for fear of deportation.
The neighbor then drove the family home and 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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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.