Texas ICE office shootings were a targeted attack against federal agents, the FBI has stated.
Aggressors manifold bullets at about 03:00 local time (08:00 GMT) on Tuesday at the San Antonio ICE offices. The ICE blamed political “rhetoric” and “misinformation” about the Trump administration’s detention policies for the shooting. The Trump administration heavily criticized ICE for dealing with undocumented immigrants held in detention facilities near the US-Mexico border.
This difficult public discussion shrouds our critical law enforcement function and carelessly puts our officers’ safety at danger, announced Daniel Bible, ICE’s director.
He described shots “cowardly, brazen, violent acts” by Christopher Combs, head of the FBI’s San Antonio services.
Mr. Combs said claims that the shooters had been investigating the situation well and had an effective attack. “Those responsible for firing the shots did some research” because they “knew what floors ICE was on, and they hit those”. He continued: “All of the shots that we have found are on the floors where ICE had offices.” Combs explained: “This is no question a very targeted attack. It’s not a secret facility, you can go online, it’s out there. So they did some research, they knew what floors ICE was on, they knew what buildings they were and they hit those.”
Combs wouldn’t confirm whether the FBI believes this was an act of protest or not, but says it’s concerning someone would fire off shots at a building, regardless if people were inside or not.
“To be honest with you, I’m not sure they thought anyone was in the building, which concerns me,” Combs said. “If this was an act of protest or a political statement, maybe they thought the building was empty. But you never know when a building is empty, right?”
Although no one was injured, Mr. Combs said “we could be here today talking about the murder of a federal official” had the bullets “gone two inches in another direction”.
In a report, ICE laid the blame for the event on “political rhetoric” and “misinformation” around the Trump administration’s detention policies. “The political rhetoric and misinformation that various politicians, media, and activist groups are recklessly disseminating to the American people about the ICE mission are just to further encourage these violent acts,” the agency said in a statement.
The statement spoke about the sacrifice of ICE officials. It said that these agents risk their lives every day for the sake of security. the statement also said about the shooting:
“This attack at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office in San Antonio is complete without justification,” said Bible. “Political rhetoric and misinformation that various politicians, media outlets and activist groups recklessly disseminate to the American people regarding the ICE mission only serve to further encourage these violent acts. ICE officers put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communities safe. This disturbing public discourse shrouds our critical law enforcement function and unnecessarily puts our officers’ safety at risk.”
So far, the FBI has yet to recognize any suspects in Texas ICE office shootings. Combs said the agency would be staying alert, however, warning that researchers are concerned that there could be more attacks aimed at ICE.
“We cannot allow political discourse to lead us to the point of violence, where federal employees, innocent people doing their jobs, are put in harm’s way,” he told. ”
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, posted a photo on Twitter of what he said was a bullet hole in a window at one of the targeted offices.