Gunman who shot dead two FBI agents watched them with doorbell camera
‘Vast majority of agents are decent, honorable people’: Biden pays bizarre tribute to two FBI agents shot dead by child porn suspect who watched them approach from his doorbell camera
- Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, and Special Agent Daniel Alfin, 36, were killed in Sunrise, Florida on Tuesday morning in a dawn raid
- The pair were killed and three injured while serving the warrant in a case involving child porn and ‘violent crimes against children’
- The shooting unfolded at an apartment complex where the man suspected of possessing child porn lived
- He watched the agents arrive through his doorbell camera and then opened fire in what is being described as an ambush
- The suspect was found dead in an apparent suicide after barricading himself inside the apartment and opening fire on the agents
- In the hours after the shooting, two stretchers covered with American flags were taken into the Broward Medical Examiner’s office, flanked by officers forming an honor guard as the stretches were taken inside
- The two agents, who had each been FBI special agents for more than a decade, had a history of investigating child porn and sexual exploitation cases
- FBI director Christopher Wray later praised the two slain agents for their ‘heroism’ and vowed to ‘honor their ultimate sacrifice’
- President Joe Biden also paid tribute saying: ‘They put their lives on the line, and it’s a hell of a price to pay’
Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger (pictured in a CBS12 interview) and Special Agent Daniel Alfin were shot dead in Sunrise, just outside Fort Lauderdale, this morning while serving the warrant in a case involving ‘violent crimes against children’.
President Joe Biden has paid tribute to the two FBI agents shot dead by a child pornography suspect in Florida before adding that the ‘vast, vast majority’ of law enforcement officers were ‘decent, honorable people’.
Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, and Special Agent Daniel Alfin, 36, were killed at an apartment complex in Sunrise, just outside Fort Lauderdale, on Tuesday morning while trying to serve a warrant in a case involving child porn and ‘violent crimes against children’.
The suspect, who also died in the ambush, lay in wait for FBI agents who he observed through his doorbell camera before opening fire on them, it has since emerged.
Biden paid tribute to the two slain officers on Tuesday evening, saying: ‘They put their lives on the line and it’s a hell of a price to pay.
‘And every single day… by and large the vast, vast majority of these men and women are decent, honorable people who put themselves on the line. We owe them.’
He said he had not yet spoken to the grieving families of the agents.
‘One of the things when you’re in a combat zone in the military or you’re an FBI agent or a police officer, every family when they put that shield on and go out in the morning dreads the possibility of a call,’ he said.
‘My heart aches for the families. I have not had an opportunity, nor will I try today to contact them.’
FBI director Christopher Wray had earlier praised the two murdered agents for their ‘heroism’ and vowed to ‘honor their ultimate sacrifice’.
‘Tragically, the FBI lost two of our own today,’ he said.
‘Special Agent Daniel Alfin and Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger were shot and killed this morning in the line of duty while executing a federal court-ordered search warrant in a crimes against children investigation.
‘Every day, FBI special agents put themselves in harm’s way to keep the American people safe. Special Agent Alfin and Special Agent Schwartzenberger exemplified heroism today in defense of their country.
Joe Biden paid tribute on Tuesday evening. ‘My heart aches for the families,’ he said in a press briefing on Tuesday evening
The day was in the most lethal incident for the FBI in 35 years, since a shootout between bank robbers and agents in Miami left two agents dead and five wounded in 1986.
The suspect, who has not yet been identified publicly, ambushed the agents after observing them through his doorbell camera, the Miami Herald reports.
He was found dead after barricading himself inside the apartment and opening fire with an assault-style rifle, law enforcement sources said.
‘There are several huge holes in the door going outward,’ one law enforcement official said.
Law enforcement sources say it appears the suspect killed himself.
In the hours after the shooting, the bodies of Schwartzenberger and Alfin were placed on stretchers and draped with American flags as they were escorted into the Broward Medical Examiner’s office.
Footage from WSVN showed officers forming an honor guard as their bodies were taken inside.
Three other agents were injured in the standoff with the suspect. Two of the injured agents are in stable conditions in hospital. The third agent did not need to be hospitalized.
Two FBI agents were shot dead in Sunrise, Florida this morning as they served a warrant in a child exploitation case. One of the slain agents is pictured above on a flag-draped stretcher arriving at a medical examiner’s officer surrounded by law enforcement
Two FBI agents have been shot dead and three others injured while serving an arrest warrant to a child pornography suspect this morning at a home in Florida this morning
Another stretcher draped in an American flag is pictured above being placed into an ambulance and escorted to the Broward Medical Examiner’s office in the hours after the shooting
Broward County Sheriff escort a Coral Springs Parkland Fire Department vehicle as it leaves the Broward County Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services after the killing of two FBI agents
The two agents who were killed had a history of investigating child porn and sexual exploitation cases.
Schwartzenberger started with the bureau in 2005 and worked out of the Miami office with the violent crimes against children unit.
Schwartzenberger started with the bureau in 2005 and worked out of the Miami office with the violent crimes against children unit
Alfin, who worked with the Miami Child Exploitation task force, had been with the FBI since 2009. He was among those who helped bring down and convict Florida man Steven W. Chase, who was the creator of Playpen – the world’s largest child porn site – back in 2017.
The agents had been serving a federal court-ordered search warrant at the time in connection with a case involving child pornography and violent crimes against children, according to FBI Miami Special Agent Michael D. Leverock and FBI Agents Association President Brian O’Hare.
The FBI did not release the suspect’s name or provide any further details on his suspected crimes.
A law enforcement source told the Miami Herald that the FBI had been investigating the suspect alongside Fort Lauderdale federal prosecutors.
Agents were trying to serve a routine search warrant in order to seize the suspect’s computer as part of the child porn investigation.
Authorities say the FBI had found an IP address for the suspect’s computer on an internet service provider.
When agents arrived at his home, the suspect barricaded himself inside before opening fire.
If the agents were to have uncovered anything during the search, the suspect likely would have faced some type of child porn charge, sources said.
The confrontation marked one of the bloodiest days in FBI history in South Florida and among the deadliest nationally as well, according to the FBI website.
The shooting unfolded at an apartment complex, pictured above, where the man suspected of possessing child pornography lived
Law enforcement standing guard outside the apartment complex could be seen embracing each other in the hours after the shooting unfolded
A heavy law enforcement presence remained in the vicinity of the apartment complex during the afternoon as authorities continued to investigate
The shooting happened around 6am in a middle-class neighborhood of single family homes, duplexes and apartment buildings.
The gunfire erupted with about four shots, according to Julius McLymont, whose house borders the Water Terrace apartment complex where the suspect was barricaded.
McLymont told the Associated Press that he initially thought the gunfire was a car backfiring but heard about five more shots a few minutes later.
He went outside and looked over his fence as police cars and ambulances rushed in. He said he saw officers working on someone lying on the ground before they loaded the person into an ambulance.
A SWAT team arrived and officers in riot gear went around the building, yelling, ‘Go, go, go!’ McLymont said. He said he couldn’t see the apartment where the shooting happened from his location.
Hours later, Sunrise Police urged residents of Water Terrace to remain inside their homes while law enforcement blocked the entrances to their community.
Police swarmed the Sunrise neighborhood just outside Fort Lauderdale after 6am following reports of the shooting involving FBI agents
The FBI said agents were serving a federal court-ordered search warrant at the time related to a ‘violent crimes against children case’
Five agents in total were shot, including the two that died. Law enforcement officers are pictured blocking an area where the shooting unfolded
The FBI said the investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.
‘In accordance with FBI policy, the shooting incident is under investigation by the FBI’s Inspection Division,’ the FBI said in a statement.
‘The review process is thorough and objective and is conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances. No further information will be released at this time.’
Alex Piquero, a University of Miami sociology professor who has specialized in criminology, said serving search warrants at a person’s home is incredibly hazardous for law enforcement officers.
‘Serving warrants, next to domestic dispute calls and high speed chases, are among the most dangerous for law enforcement – they don´t know what awaits them on the inside,’ Piquero said.
There have been several other shootings throughout the FBI’s history in which two agents have died, according to the bureau’s Wall of Honor.
In South Florida, the infamous ‘Miami Shootout’ in 1986 claimed the lives of Agents Ben Grogan and Jerry Dove in a gun battle with two heavily armed robbery suspects who were also killed. Five other FBI agents were wounded in that shooting, which led the bureau to upgrade the weapons that agents carry.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the SWAT team, are still gathered at the scene of the shooting
The Sunrise Police Department tweeted about the heavy police presence, noting that several roads were closed in the area
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