American NRI arrested in Mexico for shooting US diplomat

A 31-year-old man from India has been arrested in Mexico’s Guadalajara city for allegedly shooting an American diplomat over a possible visa row.

The US diplomat was shot by a man wearing a black wig and a blue nurse uniform outside a shopping center’s garage (Jan 6) in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city.

The suspect was arrested in a joint operation by the FBI, DEA and Jalisco state officials in Guadalajara’s affluent Providencia neighbourhood early on Jan 8 morning, reports said.

A spokesperson at the Jalisco state prosecutor’s office identified the suspect as a naturalised American from India named Zafar Zia, suggesting the shooting may have been related to a dispute over a visa.

Zia, at the time of his arrest, had in his possession a .38-caliber. Authorities also seized a Honda Accord with California license plates and a wig that is believed to have been used at the time of the attempted murder. Zia had moved to Guadalajara in November from Phoenix and had been residing in the city since. The apparent motive for the attempted murder appears to have been a disagreement over an undisclosed visa process, media reports said.

The FBI had offered $20,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the shooter.

Security footage recorded just prior to the shooting showed the victim validating his parking lot ticket while carrying a gym bag. Moments later, he is followed by a man wearing a nurse’s uniform, it added.

The consular official is now recovering in a hospital.