Interview: Legendary Ex-ICE Agent Sets Record for World’s Longest Handgun Shot

Victor Avila 2
Courtesy Victor Avila

A former federal agent who survived a cartel ambush in Mexico in 2011, where his partner died, set a world record by successfully making a 2010 yard handgun shot. Using a 10 mm handgun and standing without the help of a bench or rest, former ICE agent Victor Avila struck a target more than a mile away as part of a series of endeavors to give back to the community.

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas, Avila spoke about his record shot and his experiences in Mexico. He also discussed his current race for a city council position in South Lake, Texas.

After a lifetime of police work behind the scenes on both sides of the border, Avila, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, first made headlines in February 2011 after he and his partner Special Agent Jaime Zapata were shot numerous times by members of Los Zetas cartel. The ambush occurred as the two traveled along a Mexican highway in a diplomatic vehicle. Avila sustained two gunshots — Zapata died from at least three. In the aftermath of the case, an investigation revealed that the rifle that killed Zapata had been purchased by Los Zetas during the Obama administration’s controversial “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation.

After leaving ICE, Avila began public speaking engagements to law enforcement organizations to raise awareness about drug cartels, commonly referred to as transnational criminal organizations.

“I talk about the loss of Jaime Zapata, what we went through that day,” Avila said. “I talk about drug cartels, their tactics, their operations, and the danger that they represent to this nation.”

It was during one of those events that Avila met with a group of individuals from USA1Shot, a company that developed a rapidly deployable brace attachment for handguns aimed at helping law enforcement officers have the stability of a rifle while using their service handgun. The tool is meant to be carried in an officer’s belt giving him rapid access.

Even though he is not a competitive shooter, Avila utilized a .40 caliber handgun with a scope and one of their braces, to shoot a target at 1,650 yards away several times. That shot was soon followed by a 2,010 yard shot with a 10mm handgun also using a scope and the brace. The 90-minute shooting session was recorded on film and tracked using GPS and laser devices. Even though Avila landed the shot during the summer, it took several weeks for the results to be documented and certified as a world record.

“In law enforcement, you are used to hearing the shot and immediately hearing if it hit the metal plate or seeing the results on paper,” Avila said. “Here, it takes 11 seconds for the bullet to travel to the target.”

After each shot, Avila was not able to move as he waited in the same position to see if he missed and needed to adjust to take a follow-up shot. The agent credited the brace with helping him keep the weapon steady while making long-distance shots.

“You are standing in an offhand position, there is no bench to lean on, it took a lot of concentration, a lot of breathing,” Avila said adding that if he can make a 1 mile shot with the brace, an officer in a 25-75 yard engagement facing off against a threat should have no problem ending the threat with one shot.

Avila is also competing for a city council seat in the city of South Lake — an election that was pushed back to the same day as the November presidential election.

“When I retired (from ICE) I wanted to give back, I had spent 23 years in law enforcement and I decided that continuing to serve the public was the best way,” he said.

One of the main concerns for Avila is the current anti-law enforcement trend that has pushed the effort to defund police, highlighting the importance of local politics.

“I don’t want our cities to experience what is taking place in other parts of the country,” Avila said. “Those movements will have some very serious consequences in the near future.”

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at


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