The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tragically lost two field agents on Tuesday in a shooting that occurred during the execution of a federal court-ordered search warrant in a child exploitation case in Sunrise, Florida. According to Reuters, the warrant sought evidence of possession of child pornography.
In a statement, FBI Director Chris Wray identified the Special Agents as Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger. Wray said that three other agents were also wounded by gunfire, with two requiring hospitalization. All three are in stable condition.
The suspect barricaded himself inside an apartment and was later found dead, according to The New York Times: “A law enforcement official said it appeared that the man had killed himself before agents were able to arrest him.” The identity of the suspect has not been released pending notification to his family.
“Over the past few years the Bureau has been heavily politicized due to the actions of the upper management, but this is a real reminder that the field agents — the ones who toil day and night and put their lives on the line — are still there protecting people, even in this age of defund the police.”
The Times reported video footage from local police stations revealed a “grisly scene” where “A SWAT truck had rammed into staircase railings that lay on the ground in tatters. There were blood stains on the floor outside the apartments. The police swarmed to the complex, shutting down the roads and keeping people out for most of the day.”
Director Wray honored Alfin and Schwartzenberger’s sacrifice, saying the pair “exemplified heroism today in defense of their country. The FBI will always honor their ultimate sacrifice and will be forever grateful for their bravery. We continue to stand by our FBI Family, and the families of these special agents, in the days to come, bringing every resource we can to get through this together.”
President Joe Biden told reporters at the Oval Office on Tuesday: “My heart aches for the families… To put their lives on the line, it’s a hell of a price to pay.”
According to USA Today, Schwartzenberger was a 15+ year veteran of the FBI, working in the Miami office since 2010. The 43-year-old left behind a husband and two children, and was primarily investigating traffickers and sexual exploiters who targeted children on the Internet.
Alfin joined the Bureau’s New York office in 2009 before transferring to Miami in 2017. Alfin, 36, specialized in crimes against children and is survived by a wife and child.
Tuesday marked the deadliest day in FBI history since 2013 when two agents died during a training event for the Hostage Rescue Team.
According to Reuters, the last fatal shooting of an FBI agent was in 2008 during the execution of a federal arrest warrant associated with an investigation into a drug trafficking ring in Pittsburgh. Agent Samuel Hicks was killed.
Marc Ruskin, an FBI Agent with 20 years of undercover experience, told The Epoch Times the only comparable incident in his memory is the infamous 1986 Miami shootout where two agents were killed and five others were wounded in a battle with bank robbery suspects. Both suspects died in the shootout.
“Over the past few years the Bureau has been heavily politicized due to the actions of the upper management, but this is a real reminder that the field agents — the ones who toil day and night and put their lives on the line — are still there protecting people, even in this age of defund the police,” said Ruskin.
Ruskin said when he was a young agent, he often remembered “really feeling fear” and would often question why he chose such a risky career.
“I was lucky I survived 27 years, with 20 years of undercover work… I was often in fear. Being courageous doesn’t mean you don’t have fear, it means you have fear and you acknowledge it and you face it. You don’t let it overcome you, you overcome it.”
Ruskin, who was awarded five commendations from the Bureau Director for his undercover work, noted that federal law enforcement faces challenges “different from being an accountant or a politician or any other job.”
“The public should appreciate what these agents are doing.
“When you do go to work in the morning, especially when you’re going to do an undercover meet, or executing a search warrant, you may not come home that night.”
South Florida is now the single region in the country where the most FBI agents have been killed in the line of duty, according to the Miami Herald.