Last week Tuesday, a dark day in law enforcement fell upon the state of Florida and the United States. One of the deadliest Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cases took place in a South Florida home in the city of Sunrise in Broward County. Two FBI agents, Daniel Alfin, 36, and Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, were gunned down when they arrived at the Sunrise property to search the apartment of an individual involved in a child pornography case. The suspect is believed to have taken his own life.
Along with the two FBI agents whose life ended on short notice, three other officers were also wounded but were in stable condition after the shootout.
The shooting marked one of the bloodiest days in the department’s history in South Florida and in the nation according to the FBI’s website.
According to Miami FBI Agent Michael D. Leverock and FBI Agents Association President Brian O’Hare, the agents had gone to the apartment complex in Sunrise to serve a federal search warrant in connection with a case involving violent crimes against children and child pornography.
The shooting happened around 6 a.m. and nearby neighbors described the shooting began with about four quick gunshots and was followed by another slew of shots just minutes later. Shortly after, the entire complex was surrounded by local and federal agents, and all entrances into the community were blocked off.
“Special Agent Alfin and Special Agent Schwartzenberger exemplified heroism today in defense of their country,” FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said in a statement. “The FBI will always honor their ultimate sacrifice and will be forever grateful for their bravery.”
Over the weekend, the brave agents received a proper farewell and send-off for their acts of valor and years of service.
Agent Schwartzenberger served for 15 years as a special agent, specializing in the protection of children. On Saturday afternoon, a service was held for the fallen agent at the Hard Rock Stadium where she was given a 21 gun salute.
“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 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.”
Later in the weekend, a similar service was held for Agent Alfin, who served over 10 years with the FBI. Before transferring to Florida, he was an agent in New York.
“In honoring Daniel today, we are not just saying goodbye to a colleague, a friend, a brother, a son, a father or a husband, but we’re collectively ensuring his memory lives on,” said Denis Alfin, Daniel’s brother.
Both agents were regarded as “two of the very best the FBI had to offer,” according to the director.
The ceremonies both took place in Miami Gardens and had police parades with hundreds of patrol cars and motor vehicles from all over the state participating in the procession.
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William is a South Florida native with professional experience writing at the collegiate and national news outlet level. He loves fishing, playing soccer and watching sports in his spare time and is a fan of all South Florida teams.