Famous West Texas transgender performer dies in police custody
POSTED: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 4:21pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 1:44pm
El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso Police have identified the person who died in custody on Sunday morning as 36-year-old Fernando Gomez.
Gomez, a well known performer within the gay and transgender community, was better known by friends as "Mercedes De Marco."
Officials were dispatched at 4:02 a.m., Sunday morning to a hotel located at 1301 North Mesa to a domestic disturbance call.
When officers arrived on the scene, DeMarco allegedly became combative with the officers and was subsequently arrested and placed in the rear of the police cruiser.
While in transport to the police station, DeMarco became unresponsive. Officers immediately began first aid efforts on Demarco until EMS arrived and he was taken to Las Palmas Hospital where he later pronounced dead.
Witnesses at the scene have stated that DeMarco appeared to be acting irrational and violent as if he was under the influence of some type of narcotic.
El Paso Police are still investigating the incident and are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results to determine the cause of death.