Friday, February 17, 2012
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent is dead after a workplace dispute erupted into gunfire at the agency’s offices in a California federal building, officials said.
In the incident at the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building in Long Beach, Calif., an ICE agent allegedly opened fire on a colleague Thursday evening, leaving that colleague hospitalized in stable condition with multiple gunshot wounds, ICE officials told ABC News.
“This situation began with what we can characterize as an incident of workplace violence,” Steven Martinez, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told reporters late Thursday Pacific Time.
However, a third ICE agent evidently intervened by firing at the initial shooter, Martinez said.
“This resulted in the death of the shooter,” Martinez said. “At this time, we believe this was an isolated incident and the shooter was acting alone.”
The intervening ICE agent was unharmed, officials said.
Initially, multiple published reports citing Long Beach police described two agents dead and a third wounded, but those reports were mistaken, ICE officials told ABC News.
The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. PT inside the ICE offices, according to a written statement by ICE, which added that the victims were with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit.
“One of the agents died at the scene,” the statement said. “The second agent was transported to a local hospital where he is listed in stable condition. The names of the agents are not being released pending notification of the next of kin.”
The FBI is leading the investigation, with assistance from the Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach Deputy Chief Robert Luna told reporters.
Police learned that shots had been fired at the federal building via a 911 call at approximately 5:54 p.m., Luna said.
“Officers were on scene within two minutes and quickly secured the scene,” Luna added.
Television aerial footage appeared to show the live victim being transported under police escort from the federal building.
“At times like this, words honestly seem inadequate,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles.
“We are like a family,” Arnold said. “When something like this happens, it affects us all.”