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Suspected Shooter of U.S. Diplomat in Mexico Faces Judge

The man suspected of shooting a U.S. diplomat in Mexico has been charged in a Virginia federal court in connection with the attempted murder of an internationally protected person.

On Tuesday, 31-year-old Zia Zafar went before U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson, who formally notified him of the charges filed and ordered he be held without bond until an upcoming detention hearing.

As Breitbart Texas reported, Zafar, a naturalized U.S. Citizen, is believed to have been the man who stalked and shot U.S. Vice Consul Christopher Ashcraft last week in Guadalajara, Jaslico, Mexico. Surveillance video obtained at the time by Breitbart Texas revealed the moment when a man believed to be Zafar pulls out a handgun, aims and shoots Ashcraft as he was leaving the parking lot of a shopping center.

The information provided at the time by Mexican authorities revealed that Zafar had used a wig, glasses and gloves at the time of the attempted murder. The motive presented by Mexican authorities was that Zafar was upset after Ashcraft had denied some sort of visa procedure.

After the shooting, Mexican authorities working alongside U.S. law enforcement were able to track down and arrest Zafar. On Monday, Mexico’s government confirmed that Zafar had been removed from Mexico and on Tuesday he was formally charged in Virginia. 

According to information contained in the criminal complaint filed by the FBI, Zafar, a U.S. citizen from California had been living in Mexico on a student visa. While the criminal complaint did not provide additional information as to the motive, the document did provide insight on Zafar’s capture. Authorities were able to get surveillance video from a local Starbucks that showed the suspect purchasing coffee. Based on the information, authorities were able to identify Zafar by name and locate his residence.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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