ICE Agent's Shooting of Colleague Was Justified: FBI

An agent was fatally shot and a second agent was wounded on Feb. 16, 2012, in a federal building in Long Beach

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An immigration agent was justified in fatally shooting a colleague who opened fire on their boss in a federal office building last year, the FBI said on Friday.

    The wild double-shooting at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Long Beach office occurred after Kevin Kozak, the second-in-command for the agency's Los Angeles region, turned down a transfer request by Ezequiel Garcia, who then shot him six times.

    ICE Shooting Investigation Continues

    [LA] ICE Shooting Investigation Continues
    We know a lot more about that shootout inside a Federal Building in Long Beach. A disgruntled federal agent shot his boss and was then shot and killed by another agent. Angie Crouch has the latest. (Published Friday, Feb 17, 2012)

    Another agent rushed into the room and killed Garcia. Kozak survived.

    The FBI spent about a year investigating and determined the fatal shooting was justified, bureau spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

    The shootings occurred Feb. 16, 2012, on the seventh floor of the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building in downtown Long Beach.

    ICE officials have said Garcia shot Kozak multiple times following a discussion about Garcia's job performance.

    Another agent who attended the meeting had just left and rushed back after hearing gunshots.

    After what ICE officials described as an intense struggle to try and disarm Garcia, the other agent drew his weapon and shot him.

    That agent's name has not been disclosed by ICE, but a federal official familiar with the investigation identified him as Perry Woo.

    The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

    Kozak survived wounds to the hand, knee and torso. Woo was not injured.

    Both still work for ICE. While ICE has not disclosed a motive for Garcia's attack on Kozak, the official who spoke anonymously has told AP that Kozak denied Garcia's request for an internal transfer.

    Garcia joined the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1988 and was named criminal investigator three years later.

    After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, INS, which was part of the Justice Department, was combined with the Treasury Department's Customs Service to form ICE and was placed in the Department of Homeland Security.

    There was friction from the start, as the differing cultures and protocols for Customs and the INS were melded.

    Some employees continued identifying closely with their old agency and resented when their supervisors came from the other.

    Kozak came up through Customs and, as second-in-command for the Los Angeles region, had authority over Garcia, who in 2004 was promoted to ICE supervisor and oversaw a documents and benefits fraud task force.

    ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility is conducting its own review of the shooting and the FBI findings will "figure prominently" in the assessment.