Victim In Arizona Shooting Files Suit Against FBI

The surviving victim of a 2009 Arivaca, Ariz. home invasion that left a young girl and her father dead says the FBI should have prevented their deaths.

The Arizona Daily Star reported that Gina Gonzalez claims in a lawsuit filed May 15 in Tucson federal court that FBI agents were warned about the shooting.

Gonzalez lost her husband, Raul Flores, and 9-year-old daughter Brisenia Flores when three people pretending to be Border Patrol agents shot and killed them on May 30, 2009. She was shot once in the shoulder and in the leg.

Her attorney, Barry Corey, declined to discuss the lawsuit Friday. He said his client “was doing as well as anyone could be considering the trauma she went through.”

In the federal complaint, Gonzalez states one of the convicted shooters, Shawna Forde, asked an FBI informant in Colorado to help in the attack two weeks before it happened.

Gonzalez alleges Robert Copley met with Forde several times in April 2009 about recruiting people to join her in an operation with the Minutemen border group. Gonzalez goes on to say Copley and others attended a meeting with Forde on May 15, 2009, in Aurora, Colo.

At the meeting, according to the complaint, Forde outlined a plan to enter a home in Arivaca, where she believed rugs, weapons and money were stashed.

Gonzalez says Forde even drew a map of the home’s location. Copley passed the map to his FBI contact, who passed it on to the FBI office in Phoenix. Gonzalez believes the Phoenix office was negligent and lost it.

According to the complaint, FBI officials did nothing to stop Forde or to inform local authorities about her plans.

An FBI spokeswoman said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

Gonzalez said she is requesting damages for the wrongful deaths of her family for pain, suffering, medical expenses and loss of earnings. She is also asking for additional compensation “as a result of seeing her daughter and husband murdered.”

Forde and another shooter, Jason Bush, were both sentenced to death row last year. The third shooter, Albert Gaxiola, was sentenced to two life terms.

In Everett, Wash., where Forde was from, residents held a vigil in honor of the two victims on the third anniversary of the killings.