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Friends remember popular transgender performer who died in El Paso police custody

By Staff Report
Published On: Oct 14 2013 05:26:32 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 14 2013 05:40:40 PM CDT
EL PASO, Texas -

El Paso Police have identified the man who died in police custody early Sunday morning as Fernando Gomez of the 500 block of Cortez.

Gomez was known in the LGBT community as the performer Mercedes De Marco (or Demarco) and had performed Saturday night at an event.

Police say that Gomez was yelling and screaming when they arrived at a domestic disturbance call at 1301 N. Mesa just after 4 a.m.

Police say Gomez became aggressive toward the officer and tried to evade the officer when the officer tried to talk to him.

While in transport to Central Regional Command, Gomez became unresponsive.

Officers performed first aid on him until fire medial service crews arrived. He was taken to Las Palmas Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Because he died while in custody, an investigation is being conducted into the incident by the Crimes Against Persons Unit and the Internal Affairs Division.

Friends have been posting their condolences on Gomez's De Marco Facebook page.

"Never go a day without telling those you care for, you hold cherish and close to your heart, that you love them!" Jaidah C. Simon posted on De Marco's page. " It saddens me that we have lost an amazing entertainer and a friend today! RIParadise Mercedes Demarco! Forever remembered!"

Timothy Joyner wrote on the Facebook page, "Its a sad day as we have to say good bye to another great entertainer. Mercedes Demarco , as she passed away last night.There are too many leaving this world with a quickness. we are not promised tomorrow. please if you love someone or not still tell them you love them. as it may be too late when you decide to say it. i love and miss all you guys on here.!!!"

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