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Heroes Down: FBI Special Agents Daniel Alfin, Laura Schwartzenberger Fatally Shot In Line Of Duty

Sunrise, FL – Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Daniel Alfin and Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger were fatally shot in the line of duty on Tuesday while attempting to execute a warrant on a child pornography suspect.

The incident occurred at about 6 a.m. on Feb. 2 when federal agents attempted to serve a search warrant at a residence located at 10100 Reflections Boulevard West in Sunrise, WFOR reported.

The Miami Herald reported that the FBI child porn squad tracked down the suspect’s address working with the Internet service provider and then matched up the physical address.

Sources said they were attempting to serve the warrant at that address when the suspect opened fire.

Agents Alfin and Schwartzenberger were both fatally shot by the suspect, The Washington Post reported.

Broward sheriff’s deputies, Davie police, Sunrise police, Pembroke Pines police, Miramar police, and Lauderhill Fire Rescue personnel quickly responded to the scene to assist the federal agents, WFOR reported.

The FBI confirmed in a statement that three additional officers had been wounded by gunfire, but only two had required hospitalization for treatment of their wounds.

The suspect barricaded himself in his house after he shot the federal agents and eventually took his own life, the Miami Herald reported.

Agents Alfin and Schwartzenberger were the first FBI agents to be fatally shot in the line of duty since 2008, The Washington Post reported.

“Every day, FBI Special Agents put themselves in harm’s way to keep the American people safe,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said the statement. “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,” Director Wray said.

Agent Alfin, 36, was a veteran agent who specialized in investigations of crimes against children, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

He is credited with having broken a case that led to the rescue of hundreds of children.

Special Agent Alfin led the investigation into the largest child pornography website on the dark web, called Playpen, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

The FBI said that about 900 people were arrested all over the world in connection with the Playpen investigation and children were rescued in the United States.

“Members of his enterprise who were raping children, who were producing child pornography all around the world — those cases continue to be indicted and prosecuted,” Agent Alfin in a 2017 press statement that announced Playpen’s founder had been sentenced to 30 years in prison, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

University of South California – Berkeley computer security expert Nicholas Weaver called Agent Alfin’s work groundbreaking.

“One legacy of the Playpen cases is a charge in judicial rules on search warrants,” Weaver explained. “Another was nearly 300 children identified and rescued from abuse around the world. Daniel Alfin helped make that possible.”

Agent Alfin joined the FBI in 2009, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

“His work speaks for itself: you just read the court cases and transcripts and it breaks your heart,” Weaver said. “I can’t even hope to estimate the number of children Agent Alfin and Agent Schwartzenberger’s investigations have rescued from horrific circumstances. The loss of both is a tragedy.”

Agent Schwartzenberger, 43, was assigned to the FBI’s Miami Field Office Innocent Images National Initiative, which is tasked with tracking down suspects involved in the exploitation of children and “sextortion,” the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

Sextortion is when a scammer tries to convince a victim to pay ransom to stop them from releasing sexually-explicit pictures or video that they allegedly have of them.

Agent Schwartzenberger also specialized in crimes against children, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

She gave numerous presentations in schools to educate students and faculty on the most current threats to children.

Agent Schwartzenberger joined the FBI in 2005 and lived in Coral Springs, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) called the fallen special agents “heroes to our nation” in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

“Special Agent Daniel Alfin and Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, as well as the three injured officers and all those who responded to this tragic scene, are heroes to our nation,” FLEOA National President Larry Cosme said. “This horrible attack was a reflection of the violent individuals law enforcement officers encounter every day. However, the coordinated response and outpouring of support the news has brought, is also a reflection of the strength of our law enforcement community.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of FBI Special Agent Daniel Alfin and FBI Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Special Agent Daniel Alfin and Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, your lives mattered.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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