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ICE shooting occurred during job performance discussion, FBI says

February 17, 2012 |  1:54 pm

The shooting between federal agents at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in Long Beach occurred during a discussion about the alleged shooter's job performance, authorities said Friday.

Kevin Kozak, 51, a second-in-command of ICE in Los Angeles, suffered six gunshot wounds to his legs, upper torso and hands. Authorities identified the shooter as Ezequiel Garcia, 45, a supervisory agent, who was shot to death by another supervisor in the office after wounding Kozak.

Kozak, who previously served as acting head of ICE’s Los Angeles operations, remains hospitalized but is in stable condition, and is alert and talking, officials said at a news conference.

Garcia, who oversaw a squad investigating benefit fraud, was being “counseled” about his job performance when the discussion escalated, leading to the shooting, said Steve Martinez, assistant director in charge of the FBI.

Authorities did not identify the supervisor who shot Garcia.

“Kozak is alive today because of the heroic action of another ICE supervisor,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for ICE in Los Angeles. “This is the first time anything of this nature has occurred within ICE,” he said.


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-- Paloma Esquivel in Long Beach and Victoria Kim in Los Angeles

Photo: Special Agent in Charge for ICE and Homeland Security Investigations, Claude Arnold releases the names of the two ICE agents, one who was wounded and the other killed by a third agent during a workplace  confrontation at the Glenn  M. Anderson Federal Building in Long Beach. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times