ICE office where shooting occurred has had a troubled few years
The shooting that left one federal immigration official dead and another wounded follows a troubled few years for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Los Angeles field office.
A high-ranking ICE official and his wife, an intelligence analyst, have been indicted and are on trial in federal court on charges of defrauding the government. Another official, suspected of doctoring his college diploma, has been on leave for more than a year while a grand jury investigates the matter.
According to court files, two other ranking supervisors were internally investigated and disciplined for an extramarital affair and related professional misconduct.
Thursday's shooting occurred at the federal building in Long Beach.
Ezequiel Garcia, 45, who supervised a document and benefit fraud task force, allegedly shot Deputy Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kozak, 51, in the 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 ICE's Los Angeles operations, remains hospitalized but is in stable condition, alert and talking, federal officials said at a news conference Friday. Officials did not identify the third supervisor, who has been placed on leave, citing "concern for his privacy."
"This guy's a fighter," he said of the wounded agent. "He was awake and lucid."
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.
-- Victoria Kim, Paloma Esquivel, Phil Willon, Hector Becerra and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: A Homeland Security vehicle and a Long Beach Police Department car are parked in front of the federal building in Long Beach after the ICE agent shooting. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times