Zia Zafar, suspect in Friday's shooting Zia Zafar, suspect in Friday's shooting. el universal

Suspect arrested in shooting of US official

Visa dispute suggested as motive for Friday's attack in Guadalajara

A United States citizen was arrested yesterday in connection with the shooting Friday of a U.S. consular official in Guadalajara.

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A man unofficially identified as Zia Zafar, 32, was detained by Mexican authorities in collaboration with the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Guardian reported that Zia was carrying a .38-caliber pistol when he was arrested and was in possession of a wig and sunglasses that appeared to match those seen in video footage of the shooting, along with 16 bags of what appeared to be marijuana.

The victim has been identified as Christopher Ashcraft, whose job at the consulate was reportedly interviewing visa applicants. The identity of both the shooter and the victim were revealed by Guadalajara police sources on condition of anonymity.

Jalisco authorities suggested the shooting was linked to a dispute over a visa.

Surveillance videos show the gunman following Ashcraft to the parking lot from a gym and subsequently waiting at the lot’s exit before pulling a gun and shooting at a vehicle as it pulled up to the ticket machine.

The newspaper El Universal reported that that the suspect was caught by security cameras when he entered a nearby Starbucks, wearing the wig and sunglasses. He used a credit card in the coffee shop, enabling authorities to track him down in the Providencia neighborhood of the city.

Ashcraft has been reported in stable condition in a local hospital after being shot in the chest with a .38-caliber weapon.

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The federal Attorney General’s office said yesterday the suspect in the “sly and cowardly” attack will be deported to the U.S.

American Secretary of State John Kerry thanked Mexican authorities “for their swift and decisive arrest of a suspect in the heinous attack against our foreign service officer colleague.”

The U.S. embassy in Mexico City issued a security message Saturday, warning U.S. citizens in the Guadalajara area to restrict their movements outside their homes and place of work to “those truly essential.”

“They should also take care not to fall into predictable patterns for those movements that are essential,” the warning said. “They should vary the times and routes of their movements.

Security analyst Alejandro Hope said the shooting didn’t appear to be a robbery or attempted kidnapping and that it wasn’t clear whether organized crime was involved, although Jalisco authorities have ruled that out.

“It’s a very strange case,” said Hope, who observed that Mexican cartels rarely contract foreigners to carry out killings and avoid attacks on U.S. officials that provoke strong international pressure.

Source: El Universal (en), The Guardian (en)

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  • Zia Zafar? Clearly another Mohammedan terrorist attack.

  • Axixic

    If he is a U.S. citizen, I assume he was angry that a Mexican wife or girlfriend was denied a visa. She (he) won’t get one now for sure.

    • T. M. Sabin

      He shot a DEA agent, not an immigration official. He was also apprehended with “16 bags of what appeared to be marijuana”. I’d say the shooting was much more likely drug-connected.

      • Axixic

        Read the article, dimwit. “The victim has been identified as Christopher Ashcraft, whose job at the consulate was reportedly interviewing visa applicants.”

        So what if he was caught with marijuana? He didn’t have the marijuana on him when he shot the consular employee. The consular employee doesn’t enforce drug laws in Mexico.

        He is originally from India and going to medical school in Guadalajara. His family said he has a history of mental illness.

        • T. M. Sabin

          You did not quote the article, which I did read. You expressed an opinion. I expressed a different one. Just because you don’t agree with my opinion doesn’t give you the right to be offensive and insulting, calling me “dimwit”. Is Donald Trump your role model? Thank goodness I don’t have a Twitter account, so you can’t insult me on tweets, too.

          Friends of mine who work in the US Consulate in Guadalajara told me the man who was shot was in reality an uncover DEA office, regardless of what the newspaper article stated.

          • Axixic

            I did not vote for Trump and I don’t have a Twitter account.

            Read the article. Read every article about this event. They all say he worked at the Consulate. Don’t you think that is why the Secretary of State gave his sympathies and not the head of the DEA?

            If your friends told you a man issuing U.S. visas was really a undercover DEA agent, they should be fired and immediately. They will get innocent people killed. They should be fired tonight.

            How exactly does a worker issuing visas all day do his job as a DEA agent?

            I was wrong to call you dimwit. I should have called you moron.

  • pedrochapala

    it’s not called the excited states for no reason-SNORK!

  • D Taylor

    JAIL HIM indefinatly

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