2 fallen FBI agents fought crimes against children in South Florida

Both were killed serving warrant in Sunrise early Tuesday

The two FBI special agents killed Tuesday morning lived in South Florida and spent years working on cases involving crimes against children.

SUNRISE, Fla. – The two FBI special agents killed serving a warrant in Sunrise on Tuesday lived in South Florida and spent years working on cases involving crimes against children.

Those agents were identified as Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, and Special Agent Daniel Alfin, 36.

Schwartzenberger had been an agent with the FBI since December 2005 and worked in the Miami field office on a squad of agents handling violent crimes against children, according to court records. Her work primarily focused on tracking offenders who sexually exploit children online and investigating other crimes against children.

She lived in Coral Springs with her husband and two children and would speak to local students about cyber safety.

Alfin, who also investigated child exploitation cases, had previously worked at FBI headquarters handling major cases involving violent crimes against children, according to court records. He had a degree in information technology and went through the FBI’s specialized training programs for cybercrimes. He was involved in a major child exploitation investigation dubbed Playpen that resulted in arrests around the world.

Born in New York, he had been with the FBI since 2009. He is survived by his wife and one child.

“He was a great guy,” said Andrew Vale, the former FBI special agent in charge in Albany, N.Y., who worked with Alfin there before Alfin came to South Florida. “It just shows what law enforcement officers go through each and every day, put their lives on the line to protect the American people. that’s what they did. He’s a hero, and Laura as well.”

Members of law enforcement across South Florida and beyond were mourning those agents Tuesday after they made the ultimate sacrifice serving a federal court-ordered search warrant in the vicinity of 10100 Reflections Blvd. early in the morning.

The FBI said that warrant was related to a case involving violent crimes against children.

Five agents were shot. Two remained hospitalized in stable condition and another was treated at the scene.

The FBI confirmed that the suspect is dead, with sources saying it was from self-inflicted gunfire.

“These Agents were working to protect the most vulnerable in our society,” the FBI Agents Association said in a statement. “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.”

After the shootings, police motorcycles with their lights flashing escorted a fire rescue truck as it brought the body of one of the agents to the medical examiner’s office in nearby Dania Beach. Law enforcement officials from numerous agencies lined up to pay their respects as a flag-covered body was removed from the vehicle and taken inside.

Outside the Miami Police Department, with flags lowered, there was a gathering to pray for the lives lost.

In Broward County, Sheriff Gregory Tony shared these words: “This morning, our fellow FBI law enforcement brothers and sisters suffered an unimaginable tragedy while protecting our community. These brave agents work to keep people safe from predators and criminals. Today, two of these courageous souls lost their lives. We offer our deepest condolences for the agents who were killed and our healing prayers for those who were wounded.”

And Broward-based state Sen. Lauren Book released a statement saying that ”Special Agent Dan Alfin and Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger were heroes among us, making the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty while working to keep children safe from sexual abuse and online exploitation — scourges amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community will never forget these agents’ bravery. We are safer because of their service.”

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!