L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

ICE agent shootings included 'very intense struggle' over gun

ICE shooting

More details are emerging about the dramatic scene last Thursday when one Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent allegedly opened fire on his supervisor and another agent then fatally shot the gunman.

Authorities said Ezequiel Garcia, 45, who supervised a document and benefit fraud task force, shot Deputy Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kozak, 51, in his upper torso, legs and hands before being shot and killed by another immigration official. Kozak, a 30-year veteran agent who previously served as acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Los Angeles operations, was hospitalized.

Officials did not identify the third supervisor, who has been placed on leave, citing "concern for his privacy."

One police source who was present at the scene said a group of Los Angeles Police Department detectives and officers who happened to be in the building rushed over to the office, responding to a call for medical help over the PA system.

Amid thick smoke and the smell of gunpowder, they saw Garcia lying on his side, apparently dead, recalled the source, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case. The ICE agent who shot Garcia stood stunned, and the supervisor lay on the floor cursing in anger and saying that his stomach felt like it was burning, he said.
"This guy's a fighter," he said of the wounded agent. "He was awake, and lucid."

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice told the Associated Press that after Garcia shot Kozak, the other agent struggled with Garcia for the gun. "There was a very, very intense struggle. They were physically struggling over the gun."

That agent then fired on Garcia.

"Kozak is alive today because of the heroic action of another ICE supervisor," Special Agent in Charge Claude Arnold said at a news conference. "This is the first time anything of this nature has occurred within ICE. And we're doing everything humanly possible to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The shooting occurred as Kozak was having a meeting with Garcia over his job performance.

ALSO:

Mother charged with murder in daughter's bathtub drowning

Immigration agent hailed as hero for halting gunman's attack

Black powder ignites during film shoot; stuntman critically hurt

--Victoria Kim, Paloma Esquivel, Phil Willon, Hector Becerra and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Claude Arnold, right, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles, releases the names of ICE officials who were involved in a deadly shooting in Long Beach. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (0)

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: