2 FBI Agents Killed, 3 Others Wounded In Raid In Southern Florida
Updated at 3 p.m. ET
Two FBI agents are dead and at least three others are wounded after a raid on a home in Sunrise, Fla., turned violent early Tuesday. The suspect reportedly barricaded himself in his home, where agents were serving a search warrant as part of a "violent crimes against children case," the FBI said in a statement. The suspect is also dead.
"Tragically, the FBI lost two of our own today," FBI Director Christopher Wray said. He identified the two slain agents as Special Agent Daniel Alfin and Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger.
"Three other agents were shot and wounded," Wray said, adding, "two suffered injuries requiring hospital care, but both are now in stable condition. The third injured agent did not require hospitalization."
The FBI director praised Alfin and Schwartzenberger for showing heroism in the line of duty, saying that the agency "will always honor their ultimate sacrifice and will be forever grateful for their bravery."
The violence erupted around 6 a.m. ET, in an apartment complex in the Water Terrace community in Sunrise, a city west of Fort Lauderdale in Broward County.
The raid involved a "team of law enforcement officers" who were executing a search warrant that was obtained through a federal court order, the FBI field office in Miami said.
"No Sunrise officers were wounded" in the operation, Sunrise Mayor Michael Ryan told NPR.
Police in Sunrise warned of a "heavy police presence in the area" Tuesday morning, urging residents to stay indoors. The massive law enforcement response included an FBI mobile command center and dozens of police patrol and tactical vehicles from multiple agencies. The police department later said that the area was safe, but that an investigation was continuing.
Law enforcement officers formed rows outside the entrance to the Broward Medical Examiner's office, saluting as a stretcher draped with the U.S. flag was wheeled inside.
Both of the federal agents were veterans of the fight against child pornography.
Alfin led the FBI's takedown of the "Playpen" dark web site in 2015 — an unprecedented victory that resulted in hundreds of arrests in the U.S. and other countries.
"Kids are being abused, and it's our job to stop that," Alfin said at the time.
Schwartzenberger's cases included one in 2014, when she extracted a confession from a man who admitted to using deception and extortion to obtain nude photos from teenage boys. In recent years, she also spoke to middle school students and media outlets about preventing cyber crime and sextortion scams.
The FBI says the investigation into the shooting is being handled by its Inspection Division, which is responsible for internal investigations and reviews, as well as special inquiries ordered by the bureau's leadership.
The FBI Agents Association, whose members include more than 14,000 active and retired special agents, said that when the shooting occurred, the agents were carrying out a search warrant "to seize evidence in connection with suspected possession of child pornography."
"These Agents were working to protect the most vulnerable in our society," FBI Agents Association President Brian O'Hare said. He pledged his organization's support for the agents' families.
This is a developing story. Some facts reported by the media may later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene, and we will update as the situation develops.
NPR's Carrie Johnson contributed to this story.
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