SUNRISE, Fla. (CBS12) — The law enforcement community is in mourning after two FBI agents were shot and killed while executing a federal search warrant in Sunrise Tuesday morning.
Special Agent Daniel Alfin, 36, and Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, died in the prime of their careers.
They leave behind children and spouses.
The gunman who later took his own life, watched through a doorbell camera, according to the Miami Herald, before he opened fire on the agents and three others through his unopened front door.
Protecting children has always been close to Schwartzenbegers’ heart.
In 2018, CBS12 News spoke with her for an exclusive investigative piece on sex extortion.
“A perpetrator uses coercion to obtain sexual images, videos money or even sex from the victim,” Schwartzenberger said in 2018. “It’s very traumatizing for the victim. Their reputation is on the line.”
Her partner, Special Agent Alfin, led an investigation into a website called Playpen, one of the largest child pornography sites. His team also tracks these criminals on the dark web in real-time thanks to Boca Raton-based Child Rescue Coalition. Glen Pounder teaches agents it’s forensic technology to catch offenders, and in most cases, rescue children from sexual abuse.
“These bad guys committed, in my view, one of the worst crimes on the planet, involved in the sexual abuse and rape of children,” said Glen Pounder, Director of Programs for the Child Rescue Coalition. “Some of them are obviously desperate. In this case, he obviously didn’t want to be taken into custody to face justice.”
This is the first time since 2008 an FBI agent has been killed in the line of duty.
Former agent Stuart Kaplan knew one of the victims from working in Miami for 15 years. He explains how search warrants are meticulously planned, but can quickly take a dangerous turn.
“It’s a sobering reminder that the men and women that are involved in law enforcement it can be a very dangerous job,” he said. “Dan and Laura are just optimize the degree of professionalism.”
Alfin joined the FBI in 2009. He is survived by his wife and child.
Schwartzenberger became an FBI agent in 2005. She leaves behind a husband and two children.
President Joe Biden Tuesday offered his condolences to the families, saying "they put their lives on the line and it's a hell of a price to pay."
The shooting is a painful reminder of another deadly day for the FBI in South Florida. An April 1986 shootout left two agents dead, just 30 miles away from Tuesday's scene.