Official: Suspect in US official's attack now not in Mexico

AP News
Posted: Jan 09, 2017 7:24 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The U.S. citizen arrested by Mexican authorities in connection with last week's shooting of a U.S. consular official in Guadalajara is no longer in Mexico, an official with the federal Attorney General's Office said Monday.

The official identified the suspect as Zia Zafar, a U.S. citizen. It wasn't immediately clear if he was deported or handed over to U.S. authorities in some other manner. The Mexican official agreed to discuss the situation only if not quoted by name because the details had not been formally released.

The victim of the shooting survived the attack Friday. Neither Mexican nor U.S. officials released the victim's name, but local media have identified him as Christopher Ashcraft. Ashcraft is listed on social networking sites as a consular officer in Guadalajara since 2016.

An American official in the United States who had seen a written summary of the investigation said authorities were still trying to determine a motive for the shooting. The official said a preliminary investigation found the suspect had mental health issues. The U.S. official wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and agreed to speak to the AP only on condition of anonymity.

The official said the victim was recovering at a medical facility in Guadalajara and was in "stable condition" Monday.

Surveillance video of the attack shows a man with dark hair and sunglasses shoot into the official's car as it exited an underground parking garage. The attacker then runs away.

After the attack, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City urged citizens to limit their exposure in Guadalajara. "They should also take care not to fall into predictable patterns for those movements that are essential," the statement continued. "They should vary the times and routes of their movements."

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement thanking Mexico for the quick arrest.


Associated Press writer Christopher Sherman reported this story in Mexico City and AP writer Michael Balsamo reported from Los Angeles.