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ICE agent killed in Carson; teenage son arrested

A friend says an ICE agent 'had a great relationship' with his 14-year-old son, but the teenager was arrested early Thursday on suspicion of killing his father in Carson.

May 04, 2012|By Matt Stevens and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times
  • Authorities remove the body of Myron Chisem from his home Thursday morning. The ICE agent was shot once in the head, and his 14-year-old son has been arrested.
Authorities remove the body of Myron Chisem from his home Thursday morning.… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

Everything was going well for Myron W. Chisem, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent since 2007.

One of his daughters was off to college, the other was on her way there, and his son, the youngest of his three children, had decided he wanted to move in with dad.

The 14-year-old was doing well in school, loved playing video games, and even visited the library with Chisem every so often, said Shawn Butler, Chisem's friend.

"In his eyes, everything was peachy, lovely," Butler said.

But late Wednesday, authorities said, the 14-year-old fatally shot his 42-year-old father, striking him once in the head from their Carson backyard as Chisem sat in the family room. The son called 911, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said, and deputies found Chisem's ICE-issued handgun in the frontyard. About eight hours later, the teen was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder.

"This was a domestic violence incident," Lt. Holly Francisco said. Authorities did not identify Chisem's son and said the motive was unclear.

Butler, 41, met Chisem in naval training in 1991 and served with him as a member of ICE. He said there "was never any indication" of trouble between Chisem and his son. He said the boy had moved in with his father less than a year ago after a family agreement.

"They had a great relationship," Butler said. "He was very proud of his son. He loved him very much.... All the time I had been around them I had never seen any kind of issues of tension between them."

Francisco said Chisem's girlfriend also lived in the home, but she returned to the 19300 block of Broadacres Avenue after police arrived. Authorities said that after questioning the teen and the woman for most of the night, the boy was arrested about 5 a.m. Thursday.

As a coroner's van arrived at about 7:30 a.m., about a dozen agents wearing blue ICE jackets gathered outside the home. One sat on a ledge with his head in his hands, while others talked quietly among themselves.

All stood in a line, shoulder to shoulder, as the body, draped in an American flag, was wheeled out on a gurney. Moments later, the agents returned to their cars, turned on their emergency lights and, in an impromptu procession, escorted the van carrying Chisem's body to the coroner's office.

"This is a difficult time for the family and loved ones of the agent, and for everyone at ICE," said ICE Director John Morton. "Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

It was the second fatal shooting of an ICE agent in the Los Angeles area this year. In February, a confrontation between agents at the Glenn M. Anderson Building in Long Beach erupted in gunfire that left one agent dead and another seriously injured.

Three ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents were shot in the Northern California town of Petaluma while executing a warrant just after 4 a.m. Thursday, authorities said.

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said the agents' wounds were not life-threatening and added that the injured agents were able to take the shooter, who was also the arrest target, into custody.

She said ICE would defer questions about weapons safety protocol because of the Sheriff's Department's ongoing investigation into Chisem's slaying.

Meanwhile, residents of Chisem's quiet Carson neighborhood were reeling as the caution tape came down and the TV trucks drove away Thursday morning.

Stephanie Love, who lives three doors down from the agent's home, said Chisem moved into the neighborhood about a year ago. Many others have lived on the street for 20 years or more, she said.

"I grew up in this neighborhood," said Love, 32. "We don't have things like this happen. This is a shock to everybody because this is the type of neighborhood everyone wants to move into."

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