Gunmen opened fire on two U.S. immigration agents in Mexico on Tuesday, killing one and injuring the other, officials said.
The two agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) were attacked Tuesday afternoon while driving between Mexico
City and Monterrey.
One of the agents was gravely wounded and died later
Tuesday. The other was in stable condition after being shot in the arm and leg,
according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The shooting took place about 23 miles north of downtown
Mexico City at approximately 3 p.m. ET, an ICE official said. The official
spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity because the case is still under
The agents, according to the official, were doing
"routine work," traveling on a well-traveled highway in an armored
car with diplomatic plates. They were forced off the road in Ojo de Aqua and
surrounded by a group of more than 10 people.
Prior to the shootings the agents apparently identified
themselves as diplomats, the official said.
The shooting provoked a swift condemnation from the U.S.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said, "Let me be
clear: Any act of violence against our ICE personnel -- or any DHS personnel --
is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk
for our safety.
"The full resources of our department are at the
disposal of our Mexican partners in this investigation," Napolitano said.
"I am deeply saddened by the news," Napolitano
Senator Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, who chairs the
chamber's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, called the
shootings "the latest reminder of the grievous violence south of our
border that must be stopped."
One official said the victims, whose identities have not
been released, were the first ICE agents to be gunned down in Mexico. According
to ICE, the agency has about 30 officers assigned to its office in Mexico City.
They work a range of issues including drugs, weapons, currency and immigration.
"ICE is working with the U.S. State Department,
Mexican authorities and other U.S. law enforcement partners to investigate the
shooting," the agency said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers
are with our colleagues."
ICE Director John Morton said the "tragedy is a
stark reminder of the risks cofronted and the sacrifices made by our men and
women every day.
Mexican officials also released a statement on the
"Mexico's government vigorously condemns this
serious act of violence, and expresses its solidarity with the United States
Government and the families of those attacked," the statement read.
"Federal authorities, in coordination with state cooperation, have an
ongoing investigation to clarify what happened and bring to justice those
**CNN's Jeanne Meserve and Mike Ahlers contributed to