Well-known transgender performer dies in police custody

Well-known transgender performer dies in police custody
Mercedes DeMarco, courtesy Facebook
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POSTED: Monday, October 14, 2013 - 10:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, October 14, 2013 - 10:04pm

Police have identified the man who died in police custody on Sunday morning as Fernando Gomez, 36. Gomez, a well-known performer within the gay and transgender community, was also known by his stage name, Mercedes De Marco.

El Paso Police were dispatched at 4:02 a.m on Sunday, Oct. 13 to a hotel located at 1301 N. Mesa to a domestic disturbance call. When officers arrived on the scene, Gomez 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, Gomez became unresponsive. Officers immediately began first aid efforts on Gomez until E.M.S. units arrived and he was taken to Las Palmas Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Witnesses at the scene have stated that Gomez 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.

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