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ICE: Suspect in Houston officer's killing in US illegally

ICE: Suspect in Houston officer's killing in US illegally
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A suspect in the death of a police officer in Texas on Tuesday during a domestic violence call is in the U.S. illegally from El Salvador and has a criminal record, U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) officials announced Wednesday.

Elmer Manzano, 51, was arrested after allegedly firing bullets at officers in a Houston apartment complex, killing 65-year-old Sgt. Harold Preston, a police commander who was weeks away from retiring, The Washington Post reported.

ICE called Manzano, a "convicted criminal alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S," in a statement sent to the Post.

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ICE did not respond to a request for comment by The Hill.

The agency has placed a detainer with county authorities and is seeking to take Manzano into federal custody.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Preston was "a hero," adding that the 41-year department veteran was responding to domestic abuse reports at Mazano's apartment Tuesday morning.

A second officer was wounded in the incident. Manzano and his 14-year-old son were also injured in the exchange of gunfire.

The incident comes as ICE officials and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) co-opted an initiative to crack down on sanctuary city policies late last month, taking nearly 300 people into custody, the Post reported.

The latest incident involving Preston's death could bolster President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE's attacks on "sanctuary" jurisdictions in cities across the U.S., which he claims have led to higher crime rates and more difficult operations for ICE in cities with large immigrant populations.

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Still, a study at Stanford University published this week found sanctuary city policies did not correlate with a rise in criminal activity, citing statistics from more than 200 jurisdictions between 2010 to 2015.

Charles McClelland Jr., a former Houston police chief, said Preston was born and raised in Houston's tough Third Ward neighborhood.

"He loved serving his community, and in our last conversation, he expressed he still enjoyed doing what he was doing," McClelland said. "It's a tremendous loss."

"What's gone is a man, an African American man, who wore the uniform in a way that little kids could look up to and aspire to be. He's the perfect example for his community — I mean, who gives that type of commitment? Forty-one years? He beat me by one," McClelland said.