Shootings at Two Texas ICE Facilities Were ‘Targeted’ Attacks, Says FBI

Police say gunmen opened fire on a local ICE office and GEO Group office in a "targeted attack" agains the enforcers of national immigration law. (Photo via GEO Group)
Photo: GEO Group

Officials from the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) say that Tuesday’s shootings at two federal facilities were each a “targeted attack.” A shooter fired multiple rounds at two ICE facilities in San Antonio, Texas, early on Tuesday morning.

FBI and ICE officials said a shooter directly targeted two separate ICE facilities in northeast San Antonio at about 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. Officials report shots being fired into a 14th floor ICE office and another building operated by an ICE contractor, the KTSA radio reported.

“All the shots that we have found are on the floors where ICE had offices,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs told reporters during a Tuesday press conference. He said there is no question that the incidents were each a “targeted attack” that “could have resulted in the assassination of a federal employee.”

The field office director for San Antonio ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations blamed the attack on “political rhetoric and misinformation” from “various politicians, media outlets, and activist groups.”

“This attack at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office in San Antonio is completely without justification,” ERO San Antonio Field Office Director Daniel Bible said in a statement provided to Breitbart Texas. “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.”

The attack follows threats on Monday from a leftist group in Florida against a contractor that provides detention facilities for ICE, Breitbart News reported. An exclusive video shows Never Again Action, Miramar Circle of Protection Friends of Miami-Dade Detainees, Food Not Bombs Fort Lauderdale, Students Working for Equal Rights, and the Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward County shouting threats against workers at a detention facility operated by GEO Group.

GEO Group is the same contractor operating one of the ICE facilities attacked in San Antonio on Tuesday.

“We know where all your children live throughout the country … John Bulfin you have kids in [bleeped out], you have kids in [bleeped out],” one protester shouted outside the Florida GEO-ICE facility. “We know everything about you and you won’t just be seeing us here.”

One day earlier, Houston police officers arrested six leftist protesters outside a juvenile migrant detention facility operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The protesters blocked the entrance to the facility. When that did not get them arrested, they moved to the street and blocked traffic, Breitbart Texas reported.

The San Antonio attacks come less than a month after a man armed with a rifle and incendiary devices attacked an ICE-GEO Group detention facility in Tacoma, Washington, Breitbart Texas reported at the time. Police shot and killed the attacker before he could successfully complete his attempt to ignite a propane tank located next to the building. Leftist groups and supporters called the attacker a hero.

“He joins a long list of fallen anarchist martyrs who fought for a liberated world!” @RevAbolitionist tweeted.

The 69-year-old attacker left behind a manifesto calling on others to ignore laws in order to arm themselves, Breitbart News reported. The shooter claimed to use an unregistered “ghost” AR-15 home-built rifle.

 “I strongly encourage comrades and incoming comrades to arm themselves. we are now responsible for defending people from the predatory state,” the Tacoma attacker stated. “Ignore the laws of arming yourself if you have the luxury, i did.” [sic]

The 3 a.m. shootings in San Antonio caused zero injuries. However, employees were present in both facilities at the time of the attacks, KSAT ABC12 reported. FBI Special Agent in Charge Combs said he believes the “shooter or shooters … did some research” and targeted the facilities.

“I don’t think there is a question that they knew which floor the ICE office is on,” Combs explained. “To fire indiscriminately into any building is not an act of a protest but an act of violence.”

He said all of the rounds fired into the building were found on the floor occupied by ICE. “Two inches in another direction, we could be talking about the murder of a federal official,” Combs stated.

Police initially detained a person they believed might have been involved, but later released them.

“These shootings were cowardly, brazen, violent acts, absolutely without justification and a threat to our entire community,” Combs concluded. “An attempt to attack federal employees is a federal crime with serious consequences. The FBI will relentlessly pursue every lead in this case to find the individuals who are responsible.”

GEO Group Vice President of Corporate Relations Pablo Perez told Breitbart News, “These are politically motivated attacks. We have been a services provider to the federal government for over 30 years. The fact is that the services we provide in our facilities today are in no way different than the high quality, professional services under the same standards that we provided for eight years under President Obama’s administration. So where was the outrage then?”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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