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Florida: Slain FBI agent remembered for protecting children

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Family members arrive in the procession behind the hearse carrying the casket of FBI Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger as they arrive at the memorial service Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Schwartzenberger and Special Agent Daniel Alfin were killed while serving a warrant this week in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – A slain FBI agent was remembered for her strength, infectious laugh, love of family and commitment to protecting children during a memorial service Saturday.

Agents Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, and Daniel Alfin, 36, were gunned down Tuesday while serving a search warrant at the Broward County home of a child pornography suspect. The service for Schwartzenberger was held at the Miami Dolphins' football stadium. A separate service for Alfin will be held there Sunday.

“There are no good words to make sense of a loss like this, no good words for a day like Tuesday, or like today,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “There's a heaviness in our hearts and a burden unlike any other, because there is nothing more devastating to the FBI family than the loss of an agent in the line of duty.”

Schwartzenberger's casket was draped with an American flag as it was brought out to the field as bagpipers played. The flag was later folded into a triangle and presented to her family by Wray. She was given a 21-gun salute during the service.

“Laura chose to be part of a team that spends their days in darkness confronting the very worst parts of humanity. It's a job with high stress, high emotional toll and high burnout,” Wray said of the agent, who was originally from Pueblo, Colorado. “Laura never stopped. She'd talk to anybody and everybody about protecting children from predators online.”

Federal government officials who attended the service with Wray were Acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson and President Joe Biden's Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.

“During her 15 years as an FBI Special Agent, Laura Schwartzenberger was selfless, tireless, brave and committed to protecting some of society’s most vulnerable: its children,” Wilkinson said in statement.

Sherwood-Randall also praised Schwartzenberger's service to the nation, calling her “an American hero who dedicated her life to keeping our country, our citizens and especially our children safe.”

The shootings marked one of the bloodiest days in FBI history in South Florida and among the deadliest nationally as well, according to the FBI website. Suspect David Huber, 55, killed himself before he could be arrested.