Details continue to emerge about the fatal FBI raid in Sunrise, Fla., that left two agents dead, another three wounded and resulted in the suspect
Details continue to emerge about the fatal FBI raid in Sunrise, Fla., that left two agents dead, another three wounded and resulted in the suspect reportedly dying by suicide — the agency’s deadliest day since 9/11.
As flags at the FBI Miami Field Office remained lowered at half-staff Wednesday, a new report indicated the suspect used a doorbell camera and allegedly fired at agents through the door.
The suspect, who was not immediately named by authorities, is believed to have set up a camera in his doorbell and was using it to monitor agents as they approached his home, two unnamed law enforcement officials told the Miami Herald. The gunman then allegedly fired through the unopened door at agents coming using an assault-style rifle, leaving the door riddled with bullet holes, the report said.
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James Marshall, a spokesman for the FBI Miami Field Office, declined to comment to Fox News on Wednesday about the details of the raid.
The Herald also reported that the gunman appeared to have died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
Five agents were struck by gunfire, resulting in the deaths of two agents, and three sustained “wounds of varying severity,” FBI Miami Special Agent in Charge George Piro said in a statement Tuesday.
Piro said the suspect would not be identified until his family has been notified.
A preliminary investigation has led federal officials to believe that the suspect fatally shot himself, another unnamed law enforcement official told The Associated Press, cautioning that an official cause of death has not yet been determined. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.
FBI Director Christopher Wray identified the two slain agents as Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger, both of whom specialized in investigating crimes against children.
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Marshall told Fox News on Wednesday that the bureau was not providing updates at this time about the two agents were transported to the hospital Tuesday, each suffering from several gunshot wounds. He also declined to comment further about when the name of the suspect was expected to be released.
Wray confirmed in his statement Tuesday evening that both agents were now in stable condition. The third agent wounded did not require hospitalization and was treated at the scene.
The suspect opened fire when agents came to serve a federal warrant in connection with a case involving child pornography and violent crimes against children, according to Miami FBI Agent Michael D. Leverock and FBI Agents Association President Brian O’Hare. The bureau has not released additional information about the case against the now-deceased man.
The shooting happened around 6 a.m. Tuesday in a middle-class neighborhood of single-family homes, duplexes and apartment buildings located west of Fort Lauderdale, near the Everglades.
The gunfire erupted with about four shots — “Boom, boom, boom, boom!” Julius McLymont, whose house borders the Water Terrace apartment complex where the suspect was barricaded, told The AP.
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At first, McLymont said he thought the gunfire was a car backfiring, then 2 minutes later he heard about five more shots.
He said he went outside and looked over his fence as police cars and ambulances rushed in. Then he saw officers working on someone lying on the ground before they loaded the person into an ambulance.
A SWAT team appeared next, he said, with officers donning riot gear. Then they went around the building, yelling “Go, go, go!” according to McLymont. He said he couldn’t see the apartment where the shooting happened from his location. Hours later, Sunrise Police urged residents of Water Terrace to remain inside their homes while law enforcement blocked the entrances to their community.
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The Injured FBI Agents
Alfin, 36, who had been an FBI special agent since 2009, was recently involved in a case against an aide to the mayor of Miami who was accused of luring a teenage victim to City Hall under the guise of an interview and then kissing and fondling him during the meeting. Rene Pedrosa, who was originally facing state charges that were later dropped for federal charges filed in March 2020, allegedly sent lewd photos to his victim as well.
Alfin was also involved in an FBI hacking campaign to expose child pornography circulating on the dark website, Playpen. The investigation later brought down the founder of the site, Steven Chase, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2017.
Schwartzenberger, 43, an FBI agent since 2005, also worked on child exploitation investigations, many involving internet child pornography. She was active in the community as well, visiting middle schools to teach students about the dangers of online predators.
After the shootings Tuesday, police motorcycles with their lights flashing escorted a fire rescue truck as it brought the body of one of the agents to the medical examiner’s office in nearby Dania Beach. Law enforcement officials from numerous agencies lined up to pay their respects as a flag-covered body was removed from the vehicle and taken inside.
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There have been several other shootings throughout the FBI’s history in which agents have died, according to the bureau’s Wall of Honor.
In South Florida, the infamous “Miami Shootout” in 1986 claimed the lives of Agents Ben Grogan and Jerry Dove in a gunbattle with two heavily armed robbery suspects who were also killed. Five other FBI agents were wounded in that shooting, which led the bureau to upgrade the weapons that agents carry.
The FBI Miami Field Office is named after those two agents killed.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.