The death of a 20-year-old woman struck by an NYPD patrol vehicle in the Bronx last week is now under investigation by New York's attorney general.
Sofia Gomez, 20, died Thursday, three days after she was hit while crossing a street and two months after arriving leaving her native Guatemala in hopes of pursing a better life in the U.S.
In a statement Sunday, Attorney General Letitia James said her office will exercise its authority to investigate "cases in which a law enforcement officer causes the death of an unarmed civilian."
The officer driving the patrol car that struck the woman on Pelham Parkway and Wallace Avenue in the Bronx was rushing to Throgs Neck Bridge in response to a aid call.
The patrol car was a highway unit and it had lights and sirens on as it drove through a red light and struck the Gomez who had the right of way, according to police and surveillance video which shows the moment of impact.
Her cousin says it's possible Gomez, who is from a small village outside San Marcos in south western Guatemala, couldn't discern the sound of sirens as the police car that hit her raced to aid officers in need of assistance.
Her grief-stricken sister said Gomez was a quiet but very hard-working girl. She was employed at a bakery in White Plains.
A senior law enforcement official told NBC New York that the patrol car was responding to a call about a driver in a black Mercedes who refused to stop. When the driver finally halted on the bridge, the passenger reportedly scream "shoot me," which was heard over police radio.
The police investigtaion into the crash is ongoing.