Argentinian football is in mourning after the death of Barracas Central youth player Lucas Gonzalez following a city police shooting
Gonzalez, 17, was shot in the Buenos Aires district of Barracas by police on Wednesday while he was in the car with three other colleagues returning home from training.
“With infinite sadness we say goodbye today to Lucas,” Argentinian second division club Barracas Central tweeted. “The club adheres to the pain and powerlessness over what happened.
“We ask respect for the family and that they join us in hugging them in this irreparable moment. Our condolences to the family, friends and teammates of Lucas and we ask for JUSTICE.”
Three policemen have been suspended and an investigation has been launched.
According to Gonzalez’s family, police dressed in civilian clothing intercepted Gonzalez and his friends after they had stopped at a shop. It is unclear if the police were in an official vehicle.
😢Mucho Dolor!!!! #justiciaporlucas pic.twitter.com/8b32j6COgq
— Barracas Central (@barracascentral) November 18, 2021
The police, who claimed the teenagers were acting suspiciously, chased after them as they drove away. Shots were fired, with at least one bullet hitting Gonzalez in the head. He was taken to hospital but died on Thursday afternoon.
“This case is being investigated,” Marcelo D’Alessandro, the city’s security minister said in a news conference. “We will not be flexible with the police who act outside the law.”
Argentina president Alberto Fernandez expressed his condolences to Gonzalez’s family. He tweeted: “I want to express all my solidarity to Lucas Gonzalez’s family. My commitment to your Mother Cintia and your Father Mario in this painful moment.
“Let us put all the resources of the State that we have available to find the truth and justice. It is not possible that police officers who must be at the service of the safety of the Argentinians, end the lives of the people they were supposed to protect.”
River Plate were among the Argentinian clubs to offer its condolences to Barracas and to Gonzalez’s family.
Barracas Central, whose president Matias Tapias is the son of Argentina Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia, have declared three days of mourning.