ICE Agent Killed by Drug Cartel Members

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Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 9:30am

An ICE agent from Brownsville killed in Mexico, has local, state, national and Mexican authorities vowing to get to the bottom of what happened and what they are now calling an act of organized crime.

Special agent Jamie Zapata, who graduated from high school and college, in Brownsville and his partner were gunned down on Wednesday afternoon when suspected drug gang members ambushed their SUV on a highway. Sources tell NBC the suspects specifically targeted the Chevy Suburban belonging to the U.S. Embassy and bearing diplomatic plates, but it's unclear if the suspects knew there were two U.S. agents inside the vehicle.

ICE leaders say agent Zapata and his partner were traveling on a four lane divided highway from Monterrey to Mexico City when the ambush unfolded. Sources say it happened this way, two cars had been following the agents SUV for some time when one of the vehicles suddenly swerved around the SUV and forced it to a stop. The trailing vehicle then boxed in the agents and gunmen then surrounded the SUV. When the ICE agents rolled down a window to identify themselves one of the gunmen, armed with an automatic weapon, opened fire into the SUV. Multiple shots raked the passenger side of the SUV hitting both agents killing Zapata and injuring his partner. We should mention that U.S. law enforcement personnel, working in Mexico, are not allowed to carry weapons.

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