Jaime Zapata, 32, and Victor Avila, were returning back to Mexico City after meeting with colleagues in San Luis Potosi. They came upon a checkpoint believed to be run by the Zetas when Zapata was shot to death. Avila survived the attack.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the ICE agents’ families and loved ones, as we are reminded of the risks and sacrifices undertaken every day by the men and women on the frontlines in protecting the safety and security of the American people,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Zapata’s body has been returned to the United States for a forensic examination and his family is awaiting the return of his body.
It’s like a fortress around his family home in Brownsville. ICE Agents and Brownsville Police are standing guard and restricting access to the family home.
The family has yet to release a statement or make any public comments about his death.
Brownsville Police Chief paid his respects to the family and said it was somber and sad inside the home.
“It hits home because it’s an individual from Brownsville from the Valley and its one of our fellow officers that was on assignment doing his job in the line of duty,” said Chief Garcia. “Whatever his assignment was in Mexico, he was there representing our country, trying to make sure our country continues to be safe and secure.”
Family and friends crowded the family home to extend their condolences to the family. Some even remember who Zapata was and described him as special.
“He was like an angel,” said Rudy De La Rosa, a family friend. “To lose a person like that that’s here to do good, no bad whatsoever. It’s not right he was doing his job. He’s a federal agent. ”
The funeral plans are still pending and haven’t been announced. The city of Brownsville has offered the Brownsville Events Center to the Zapata Family. They expect a large crowd for his funeral, including U.S. dignitaries and law enforcement officers from throughout the country.
–South Texas Tribune, firstname.lastname@example.org