SUNRISE, Fla. – Two FBI special agents were fatally shot Tuesday morning while serving a warrant in Sunrise, the agency confirmed, calling it “a very dark day for the FBI.”
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray identified them as Special Agent Daniel Alfin, 36, and Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, 43.
Both spent years fighting crimes against children in South Florida, as they were doing Tuesday when they were killed in the line of duty working a child pornography case.
The FBI confirmed that the suspect is dead, with sources telling Local 10 News that he or she took their own life. That person’s identity has not yet been released. FBI Miami Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro said the name wouldn’t be released until the suspect’s family has been notified.
The resident of the ground-floor apartment that was breached is in the computer consulting business, Local 10 has learned. The agents tracking the crimes matched an IP address to the apartment.
FBI spokesman Jim Marshall confirmed that three agents were also injured, two of whom were transported to a hospital in stable condition. Both of them were shot multiple times, Piro said. The third injured agent was treated at the scene and not hospitalized.
Piro said that FBI Miami conducts search warrants almost daily.
“We thoroughly research and meticulously plan to take into account any threats or dangers,” he said. “The vast majority of these warrants occur without incident, and the investigation continues. The operation this morning in Sunrise ended tragically, with the subject opening fire on the members of the search team.”
REPLAY BELOW: Remarks from FBI Miami Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro
FBI special agent in charge speaks about Sunrise shooting
FBI Miami Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro is scheduled to make a statement to the press about Tuesday's raid in Sunrise where two agents were killed.Posted by WPLG Local 10 on Tuesday, February 2, 2021
According to Marshall, the shooting occurred around 6 a.m. as the agents were serving a warrant in the vicinity of 10100 Reflections Blvd.
He said the federal court-ordered search warrant was related to a case involving violent crimes against children.
Law enforcement sources tell ABC News that the agents knocked to announce their presence but got no answer. As soon as they breached the door the agents immediately took rifle fire.
A Broward Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was first to respond and extracted at least one of the injured agents, those sources tell ABC News. They report that the suspect died by self-inflicted gunshot.
An internal investigation will be conducted on how the shooting unfolded and what lessons can be learned.
“In accordance with FBI policy, the shooting incident is under investigation by the FBI’s Inspection Division,” Marshall said. “The review process is thorough and objective and is conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances. Because this is an ongoing investigation, no further information will be released at this time.”
President Joe Biden began his remarks in the Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon by offering condolences to the families of the fallen agents, before he signed executive orders on immigration.
“My heart aches for the families,” he said. “They put their lives on the line and it’s a hell of a price to pay.”
A spokesperson from the Department of Justice told ABC News that Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson was briefed on the shooting and closely monitoring the situation.
“Every day, FBI Special Agents put themselves in harm’s way to keep the American people safe,” a statement from Wray, the FBI director, read. “Special Agent Alfin and Special Agent Schwartzenberger 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.”
Sky 10 was above the area of Northwest 44th Street and North Nob Hill Road as FBI agents and police officers from various jurisdictions, including Sunrise, Davie, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Lauderhill and Fort Lauderdale, swarmed the Reflections neighborhood.
First responders from Tamarac, Sunrise and Coral Springs Fire Rescue were also at the scene.
Otisha Browning-Smith, a spokesperson for the Sunrise Police Department, said a person barricaded themselves inside a home after the agents tried serving the warrant and paramedics were called.
Neighbors in the area were shocked to learn what had happened.
“I didn’t hear anything. I just heard the police sirens and the helicopter and that’s it,” one said.
A Local 10 News crew was outside Broward Health Medical Center as a body with an American flag draped over it was moved from inside the hospital to an awaiting ambulance.
#BREAKING info from @FBI: Two FBI #Agents are deceased and three are wounded. Two wounded Agents were transported to hospital and are in stable condition. The names of the deceased will not be released at this time. @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/fzlszfmsol— Hatzel Vela (@HatzelVelaWPLG) February 2, 2021
Nob Hill Road was shut down from Northwest 44th Street to West Oakland Park Boulevard in both directions during the investigation.
Authorities began dispersing from the scene shortly before 10 a.m.
Flags were being flown at half staff outside the FBI headquarters in Miramar after the shooting.
“The FBI Agents Association mourns the loss of two FBI Special Agents killed in the line of duty today,” FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) President Brian O’Hare said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these Agents and with the Agents wounded in today’s incident. At the time of the shooting, the Agents were carrying out a search warrant in the Miami, Florida area to seize evidence in connection with suspected possession of child pornography. These Agents were working to protect the most vulnerable in our society. FBIAA stands with the Agents’ families and pledges our support to them during this difficult time.
“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.”
SLIDESHOW: Law enforcement officials swarm neighborhood in Sunrise.
Scene of FBI-involved shooting in Sunrise.
Tuesday’s shooting comes decades after a 1986 shooting in South Florida left two FBI agents dead and five more wounded in what was the bloodiest day in FBI history.
That shooting occurred on April 11, 1986 in Pinecrest.
FLORIDA FILES PODCAST:
Episode One: April 11, 1986: The bloodiest day in FBI history
Episode Two: Agents who survived 1986 FBI shootout share their memories of fateful day
Episode Three: Aftermath of bloodiest day in FBI history
Episode Four: Who killed Patty Matix?