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Grandmother of teen shot by police speaks to ABC-7

New information tonight on the police shooting of a teenager in Sunland Park last weekend.

His grandmother spoke exclusively with ABC-7.

Eighteen-year-old Rafael Cervantes’s grandmother told ABC-7 he was shot more than once by police and they have not been allowed to visit him in the hospital. She also confirmed he was working to support his child after previously being arrested.

“He’s a good kid and I just pray that he’s OK,” Cervantes’s grandmother, Estella Garcia said through tears.

Cervantes was shot by Sunland Park Police Sunday night after allegedly trying to flee in his car while holding his girlfriend and two-month old daughter hostage on Cedar Park Avenue.

“I heard that it was more multiple gun shots, not just one,” Garcia said. “I heard he was shot in the eye in the hand and in his chest.”

According to New Mexico State Police, Cervantes was shot just once, although they told ABC-7 more shots may have been fired. He remains in critical condition in intensive care at University Medical Center, where Garcia says her family has not been allowed to visit him.

“He was arrested and they couldn’t see him,” She said. “My sister also sent a priest and they didn’t let him in. That’s my baby, my first born grandson.”

Cervantes’s grandmother told ABC-7 that he worked at Potbelly on North Mesa Street for nearly a year. His boss would not speak on camera, saying she knew he had legal troubles, but she hired him anyway and he turned out to be one of her best employees.

Cervantes was listed among El Paso’s most wanted in August after being charged with five counts of engaging in criminal activity and aggravated assault. But his grandmother told ABC-7 he was on the road to straightening out his life when he was shot by police.

“That’s my baby, like I said,” Garcia said. “It hurts me. We still don’t know how he’s doing.”

As for what sparked the argument with family that led to the shooting, Garcia told me Cervantes was at her home earlier on Sunday, had been drinking and was upset that his mother had asked him to pay more rent.

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