Slain ICE agent identified as Brownsville native
Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:32:21 GMT —
A U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent killed in the line of duty in Mexico has been identified as a Browsville native.
It all happened as they were traveling in an SUV on a highway between Mexico City and Monterrey around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials confirmed that both agents were assigned to the ICE Attach Office in Mexico City.
Agent Jaime Zapata was killed in the incident while the second agent remains hospitalized after being shot in the arm and the leg.
Investigators reported that the two agents were shot by unknown men on Federal Highway 57 near Santa Maria Del Rio in the state of San Luis Potosi.
Action 4 News went to the family home of the slain ICE agent in Brownsville.
Two marked police cars were posted outside.
Reporters could not approach the home as several ICE agents and police were guarding the house on Tuesday night.
ICE agents at the scene said they can't comment but gathered in clusters as they mourned one of their own who had been lost.
A neighbor walking by the house said Zapata's family was in so much grief that she could hear their cries all the way to her home next door.
ICE Director John Morton said in a prepared statement that is a difficult time for the agency as well as the families and loved ones of the two agents.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to them," Morton said in the statement. "This tragedy is a stark reminder of the risks confronted and the sacrifices made by our men and women every day."
Morton reported that ICE is working with the U.S. State Department, Mexican authorities and other law enforcement agencies to investigate the shooting.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement that the second agent remains in stable condition.
She vowed to find those responsable and bring them to justice.
"Let me be clear: any act of violence against our ICE personnel " or any DHS personnel " is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk for our safety," she said in the statement.
Mexico Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the deadly attack and promised an intense investigation.