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Suspect in ambush attack on U.S. Consulate official in Mexico, a naturalized U.S. citizen

January 8, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Suspect in ambush attack on U.S. Consulate official in Mexico, a naturalized U.S. citizen

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Mexican authorities arrest suspect in shooting of U.S. Consulate official

The Jalisco’s Attorney General’s Office, have identified the suspected gunman responsible for shooting a U.S. official, as a 31-year-old Indian man who is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Mexican authorities, DEA, and FBI agents arrested the suspect, identified as Zafar Zia early Sunday morning during a joint operation in the affluent Providencia neighborhood of Guadalajara.

Zafar Zia stands accused of shooting 31-year-old Christopher Thatch, a U.S. consolute official in the chest, at a parking lot in Guadalajara on Friday.

Thatch remains in stable condition at a hospital in Mexico.

Officers recovered a .38 caliber handgun, a wig believed to have been worn by the suspect in the shooting, a Honda Accord with California license plates, and 16 bags containing 336 grams of marijuana.

Zia, who is from India, recently moved from Phoenix to Guadalajara in November 2016.

Officials said the motive for the failed assassination attempt appears to be related to a disagreement over a visa application, The Guardian reported.

However, officials refused to confirm a report by the El Siglo de Terreón newspaper in Mexico, which indicated Zia had recently converted to Islam.

The suspect was immediately turned over to the Mexican Attorney General’s Office, Jalisco state authorities said.

Mexican security analyst and former intelligence officer Alejandro Hope said it would be unusual for Mexican drug cartels to contract foreigners to carry out killings and try to avoid “self-defeating” attacks on US officials that have often provoked an intense international response in the past.

“It doesn’t appear to have been a robbery or an attempted kidnapping. It’s not clear whether organized crime was involved,” he added. “It’s a very strange case.”

Following the arrest, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised Mexican law enforcement officials for their immediate actions taken following the Friday’s shooting.

“On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I want to thank the Government of Mexico for their swift and decisive arrest of a suspect in the heinous attack against our Foreign Service Officer colleague,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement Sunday.

The US Embassy in Mexico issued the following warning in the wake of the shooting, urging “US citizens in the Guadalajara area to restrict their movements outside their homes and places of work to those truly essential. They should also take care not to fall into predictable patterns for those movements that are essential. They should vary the times and routes of their movements.”

Jalisco remains a bastion of organized crime activity and is one of twelve states, which continues to be under a travel warning issued by the U.S. State Department.

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