Brownsville, Texas (AP) - Members of Mexico's ruthless Zetas gang carried out a highway ambush that killed one U.S. federal agent and wounded another this week, a Texas congressman said Thursday.
Michael McCaul said Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata, 32, was killed by members of the Zeta cartel after a group of 10 to 15 armed men in two vehicles forced Zapata's Chevy Suburban off a highway in
McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, said the agents identified themselves as
"This was a complete ambush," he said, adding that investigators recovered least 90 bullet casings from the scene.
The Texas Republican said Zapata and
"This is a complete game changer," he said. "They are changing the rules."
He said while the motive for the attack remains unclear, one thing is certain: "There's no case of mistaken identity."
Authorities have said the agents were likely in the wrong place at the wrong time and that their SUV is of a kind coveted by drug cartels in the area.
Mexican authorities are investigating the shooting but have not announced any arrests.
"My sense is that we know, we probably have pretty good intelligence as to who was behind this," McCaul said. "That's what it appears to be."
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder have formed a joint task force led by the FBI to help
Holder said Thursday that
The Mexican government does not allow
McCaul was more forthright.
"We are helping them, they are not helping us," McCaul said. "If we are going to put our guys down there ... to allow them not to be armed really puts them right in the bullseye and they are sitting targets."
McCaul said he wants to schedule congressional hearings to examine the
On Thursday, police and ICE officers blocked the entrance to the road leading to Zapata's family home in
The security is "for the privacy of the family. The family is not ready to come out yet and give interviews," Garcia said.
The U.S. State Department has taken several measures over the past year to protect consulate employees and their families in
In July, it temporarily closed the consulate in