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'Clearly something went awfully wrong': FBI probes how routine search warrant ended in bloodshed after child porn suspect shot dead two agents with assault rifle having watched them approach on his doorbell camera

 Law enforcement officials say it is clear the raid on a child pornography suspect in Florida that saw two agents shot dead went 'awfully wrong' - as the FBI continues to investigate how a routine search warrant ended in bloodshed. 

Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, and Special Agent Daniel Alfin, 36, were killed when they arrived to search an apartment in Sunrise, just outside Fort Lauderdale, early Tuesday in relation to a child pornography case. 

The suspect, who was armed with an assault-style rifle, lay in wait for the FBI agents and opened fire on them through his unopened door after observing them through the doorbell camera. 

He is believed to have killed himself after barricading himself in the apartment. The FBI said they are not releasing the suspect's identity until his relatives are informed. 

In additional to the fatalities, three other agents were injured in the confrontation that marked one of the bloodiest days in FBI history. 

The FBI has so far released very few details about the deadly shooting and a number of questions remain unanswered as to how a search warrant, which agents carry out regularly, went so awry. 

Former agents and law enforcement experts have since said that meticulous planning goes into serving warrants in a bid to prevent casualties so the FBI has a lot to answer for as the investigation continues. 

Much of what is known so far has come from FBI sources. It is not yet clear if the agency knew the suspect was heavily armed or if they underestimated his response to the raid. 

It also isn't clear if agents announced themselves at the door or if they lost their element of surprise. 

The suspect, who was armed with an assault-style rifle, lay in wait for the FBI agents and opened fire on them through his unopened door after observing them through the doorbell camera. Pictured above is a SWAT vehicle that appeared to have crashed through barricades at the apartment

The suspect, who was armed with an assault-style rifle, lay in wait for the FBI agents and opened fire on them through his unopened door after observing them through the doorbell camera. Pictured above is a SWAT vehicle that appeared to have crashed through barricades at the apartment

The area surrounding the apartment is still secured by law enforcement more than 24 hours later as the FBI continued their investigation

The area surrounding the apartment is still secured by law enforcement more than 24 hours later as the FBI continued their investigation

The FBI has so far released very few details about the deadly shooting and a number of questions remain unanswered. The only official comments have come from George Piro, the head of the FBI's Miami field office, who said agents 'meticulously plan' and carry out search warrants almost every day

The FBI has so far released very few details about the deadly shooting and a number of questions remain unanswered. The only official comments have come from George Piro, the head of the FBI's Miami field office, who said agents 'meticulously plan' and carry out search warrants almost every day

Retired FBI agent Richard Kolko told CBS Miami that something obviously went 'awfully wrong'. 

'Getting that many agents caught up in the line of fire – something really went wrong and they're going to break that all down,' Kolko said. 

He said the planning phase of executing a search warrant is meticulous.   

'It basically covers every contingency: radios, hospitals, route of entry, routes of egress, all kinds of things are going into a very complex plan,' he said. 

Schwartzenberger started with the bureau in 2005 and worked out of the Miami office with the violent crimes against children unit

Schwartzenberger started with the bureau in 2005 and worked out of the Miami office with the violent crimes against children unit

'That has to be signed by a supervisor, or above, and then they execute the plan early in the morning. That's the best time to try to arrest someone.

'Clearly something went awfully, awfully wrong.'  

The shooting unfolded around 6am on Tuesday in the middle-class neighborhood of single family homes, duplexes and apartment buildings.  

Agents went to the first-floor apartment to execute a federal court-ordered warrant related to a case involving child porn and what they described as 'violent crimes against children'. 

They were trying to seize the suspects computer, as well as any other evidence, related to the investigation. Sources say the FBI had found an IP address for the suspect's computer on an internet service provider and linked it to that address. 

The FBI has not released any details about what the man was being investigated for or what they suspected was on his computer.

Sources told the Miami Herald that the suspect tracked the arrival of agents through his doorbell camera. 

He opened fire on them through the door with an assault-style rifle before they could even get inside the apartment. 

'There are several huge holes in the door going outward,' a law enforcement official said.  

The shooting unfolded around 6am on Tuesday in the middle-class neighborhood of single family homes, duplexes and apartment buildings. A heavy law enforcement presence was spotted in the area in the hours after the shooting

The shooting unfolded around 6am on Tuesday in the middle-class neighborhood of single family homes, duplexes and apartment buildings. A heavy law enforcement presence was spotted in the area in the hours after the shooting

He is believed to have killed himself after barricading himself in the apartment. The FBI said they are not releasing the suspect's identity until his relatives are informed

He is believed to have killed himself after barricading himself in the apartment. The FBI said they are not releasing the suspect's identity until his relatives are informed

Former US marshal turned private investigator Barry Golden said the installation of doorbell cameras and surveillance on people's homes had reduced the FBI's element of surprise in recent years.

'More people these days have cameras outside their home, so chances are that the element of surprise might be out the window, if someone is sitting there watching or getting a text alert,' Golden said. 

Some sources have suggested that the open air layout of the apartment complex could have been a disadvantage for agents.

It is not yet clear if the agents had announced themselves when they arrived or if they had even been trying to get inside the apartment. 

Law enforcement officials have said that FBI agents are trained to set up a perimeter and often wait for suspects to emerge. 

They said that entering an apartment now is often just for hostage situations given the dangers.  


Alex Piquero, a University of Miami sociology professor who has specialized in criminology, said serving search warrants at a person's home is incredibly hazardous for law enforcement officers.

'Serving warrants, next to domestic dispute calls and high speed chases, are among the most dangerous for law enforcement - they don't know what awaits them on the inside,' Piquero said. 

The area surrounding the apartment is still secured by law enforcement more than 24 hours later. 

The only official comments related to the investigation so far have come from George Piro - the head of the FBI's Miami field office.

He said during a press conference on Tuesday evening that agents 'meticulously plan' and carry out search warrants almost every day. 

'The vast majority of these warrants occur without incident,' Piro said. 

'The operations... in Sunrise ended tragically with the subject opening fire on the members of the search team.'  

One of the slain agents is pictured above on a flag-draped stretcher arriving at a medical examiner's officer surrounded by law enforcement

One of the slain agents is pictured above on a flag-draped stretcher arriving at a medical examiner's officer surrounded by law enforcement

Broward County Sheriff escort a Coral Springs Parkland Fire Department vehicle as it leaves the Broward County Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services after the killing of two FBI agents

Broward County Sheriff escort a Coral Springs Parkland Fire Department vehicle as it leaves the Broward County Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services after the killing of two FBI agents

FBI director Christopher Wray has also not offered any details of the investigation but praised the two murdered agents for their 'heroism' and vowed to 'honor their ultimate sacrifice'.  

'Tragically, the FBI lost two of our own today,' he said. 

'Special Agent Daniel Alfin and Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger were shot and killed this morning in the line of duty while executing a federal court-ordered search warrant in a crimes against children investigation. 

'Every day, FBI special agents put themselves in harm's way to keep the American people safe. Special Agent Alfin and Special Agent Schwartzenberger exemplified heroism today in defense of their country. 

Schwartzenberger, 43, 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, according to court records. 

Her work primarily focused on tracking offenders who sexually exploit children online and investigating other crimes against children. 

Schwartzenberger is survived by a husband and two children.

Alfin, 36, 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. 

Alfin is survived by a wife and child. 

In the hours after the shootings, police motorcycles with their lights flashing escorted fire rescue trucks as they brought the bodies of the slain agents to a medical examiner's office. 

The agent's bodies were draped with American flags as they were given an honor guard by their law enforcement colleagues.   

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. AGREED! FBLIE now going after Trump supporters! FUCK THEM! These are good odds. 5 downed by ONE! Keep that up and make Alexander Solzhenitsyn PROUD!!

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  2. It's a win, win. FBI and pedos killing each other.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here is what professional would have done! Call the so called 'suspect' on the phone - tell him that you are from the FBI and that you will knock on the door.
    Nevertheless - Florida and all this guns is just to crazy. Why deploying a Swat team? Ramming a vehicle in somebodies house? Its crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. He must have had some pictures Hunter Biden sent him. Think on that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Maybe don't execute a search warrant with 20 swat agents?

    ReplyDelete