Calif. ICE gunman opened fire at job counseling

AMY TAXIN GREG RISLING Associated Press Published:

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- A fatal shooting in a Southern California Immigration and Customs Enforcement office occurred as an agent was being counseled on his performance by a high-ranking ICE official, the FBI said Friday.

Authorities identified the gunman as supervisory special agent Ezequiel Garcia, 45, and the victim as Kevin Kozak, 51, deputy special agent in charge of the Los Angeles area.

The shooting happened just before 6 p.m. Thursday on the seventh floor of the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building in Long Beach, about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

Garcia was killed by another agent who intervened after Kozak had been shot six times. Kozak is in stable condition at a nearby hospital and is described as alert and talking.

"He is a fighter and I believe that's why he's alive today," said Claude Arnold, ICE special agent in charge. "He refused to succumb to his injuries and in law enforcement that's what makes the difference between people who go home at the end of the day and those who don't."

Kozak, the second in command of the Los Angeles area, had denied a request for an internal transfer request by Garcia, a federal official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly but agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.

There were conflicting early reports about the number of people shot, with local authorities saying two were dead and one wounded, while ICE said one was dead and one wounded.

The third agent is on administrative leave and his identity is being withheld.

The Long Beach federal building houses ICE, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Probation and Parole Office.

Along with the FBI, the shooting was being investigated by ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility and Long Beach police.

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Associated Press writer Shaya Tayefe Mohajer contributed to this report.