Sunrise, Florida and indeed the nation are grieving the loss of two dedicated and valiant FBI agents.
Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, and Special Agent Daniel Alfin, 36, were laid to rest over the weekend. They received full hero’s honors, including a 21-gun salute, a bagpipe serenade, a police helicopter flyover, and praise from the bureau’s top official for tracking down and arresting “monsters none of us would ever want to meet.”
The pair of Special Agents were brutally gun-downed when serving a search warrant at the Sunrise, Florida home of a child pornography suspect. Four other FBI agents were wounded in the ambush.
The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said at Sunday’s service that both Alfin and Schwartzenberger were “cut from the same patriotic cloth.”
“On Tuesday, we lost not one of our own, but two, two warriors who took on one of the hardest jobs in the FBI — crimes against children,” said Wray, who also spoke at Schwartzenberger’s service on Saturday.
He said Alfin and Schwartznberger were two best friends “who shared the same passion, the same determination and, in spite of all they witnessed in their extraordinary careers, the same sense of optimism and hope that comes from work that matters.”
The gunman has since been identified as David Lee Huber, a 55-year-old man from the area. The incident began just after 6 a.m. at an address on Nob Hill Road, according to police in Sunrise, a residential community not far from Ft. Lauderdale.
Authorities were at the home to serve a federal court-ordered search warrant in a case involving violent crimes against children, the FBI said.
Huber watched the agents through a doorbell camera, then ambushed them with gunfire, according to reports in the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel. The man shot the agents through his unopened front door, killing two of them and injuring another three. He then barricaded himself in the apartment before killing himself.
Two of the injured agents were taken to the hospital, where they were stable. One of the agents was later released, the FBI said Wednesday.
The third did not require hospitalization.
Huber appears to have no previous criminal record. A public records search shows he received traffic citations in Broward in 2001 and 2016. Huber had his own computer consulting business. The agency has yet to release information about the child pornography case it was investigating.
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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. 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.