Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves the death of FBI agents.
Two FBI agents were shot and killed plus three others were wounded early Tuesday morning as they tried to search the South Florida apartment of a suspect in an investigation of crimes against children according to the FBI officials.
The bureau released few details of the encounter, other than to say a suspect opened fire on agents as they went to an apartment complex about 6 a.m. “to execute a federal court ordered search warrant in furtherance of a violent crimes against children case.”
Preliminary reports indicate the suspected shooter killed himself, though they cautioned that investigators were still working to piece together the precise circumstances of the encounter. Authorities have not identified the suspect, saying during a news conference Tuesday evening that they would not do so before that person’s family had been notified. According to law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
The FBI personnel killed were Special Agents Daniel Alfin, 36, and Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, who both specialized in investigating crimes against children. Two other agents were taken to the hospital in stable condition, each having been shot multiple times, and another was hurt but remained on the scene, officials said. The wounded were not identified.
The shooting took place at the Water Terrace apartments in Sunrise, Florida, a bedroom community just northwest of Fort Lauderdale. Royal palms line the nearby streets, with the complex itself located in a part of town where expensive subdivisions of lavish homes give way to middle class housing. Officials said agents went to the apartment in hopes of seizing computer or other equipment from the residence when the shooting broke out. George Piro, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, said agents serve such warrants almost daily, and they “thoroughly research and meticulously plan to take into account any threats or dangers.” Generally, he said, the serving of warrants ends without incident and investigators continue their work.“The operation this morning in Sunrise ended tragically, with the subject opening fire on the members of the search team,” Piro said, adding later, “Dan and Laura left home this morning to carry out the mission they signed up for and loved to do, to keep the American people safe. They were valuable members of the FBI and will forever be heroes.”
The sprawling apartment complex is cut by a canal and is gated and surrounded by mauve colored walls, and the units are housed in taupe buildings, some of them two stories tall. On Tuesday, children in multicolored backpacks were being escorted by crossing guards across the street, where yellow caution tape marked a police cordon.
Piro said Alfin joined the FBI in 2009 and initially was assigned to the office in Albany, N.Y. He had worked on cases involving crimes against children for more than six years and had been in Miami since 2017, Piro said. According to a 2017 FBI article, Alfin was involved in the investigation of the creator of what was believed to be the world’s largest child pornography website: Playpen. He is survived by a wife and child, Piro said. Schwartzenberger joined the FBI in 2005 and initially was assigned to the office in Albuquerque, Piro said. She was assigned to the Miami office in 2010 and had worked on ‘crimes against children’ cases for more than seven years, including investigating those who assume fake identities online and try to solicit or extort nude images from minors. She would periodically talk about her work and the dangers of social media to students at Miami’s Rockway Middle School, the school said in a statement.
Piro said Schwartzenberger is survived by a husband and two children.”The FBI is a family, and our chosen profession is fraught with danger,” Piro said. “Today, this grim reality has taken two of our best from our family.”Across the country, law enforcement officials praised the agents and said the shooting underscored the dangers of their jobs.“These Agents were working to protect the most vulnerable in our society,” said FBI Agents Association President Brian O’Hare. “FBI Special Agents risk their lives to protect our country, and the loss of these Agents is devastating to the entire FBI community and to our country. FBIAA hopes that all Americans will join us in our efforts to support these FBI families in this time of tragedy.”In remarks at the White House, President Biden said: “My heart aches for the families…They put their lives on the line, and it’s a hell of a price to pay.”At the Justice Department in D.C., a spokeswoman said acting attorney general Monty Wilkinson was monitoring the investigation.“We mourn the tragic loss of two of our FBI colleagues who were killed today in the line of duty,” Wilkinson said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones and with their three colleagues who were shot in today’s devastating events. On this dark day, we pay tribute to the brave men and women of the FBI who put their lives on the line every day in support of our mission. We will never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by these special agents.”