On a Tuesday morning in February 2021, a group of F.B.I agents arrived at the Water Terrace apartments in Sunrise, Florida to execute a search warrant. Although this is a common component to the job of an F.B.I agent, conducting search warrants always comes with a risk.
According to authorities, the complex being investigated was home to a man who was involved in violent crimes against children. The New York Times explains, “crimes against children are considered some of the most difficult assignments because of the disturbing and graphic nature of the cases they handle. Agents typically review horrendous depictions of children being sexually exploited, images that are then shared with others online.”. The man had barricaded himself inside the complex, and was found dead before the agents could arrest him.
In the matter of minutes, a gun battle broke out, quickly jolting neighbors awake in the surrounding community. Emergency dispatchers were called, and two special agents were identified as being killed: Daniel Alfin, and Laura Schwartzenberger. According to The New York Times, Schwartzenberger was part of the Innocent Images National Initiative, and the F.B.I’s cybercrimes program. The cybercrimes program was created to combat the rapid increase of child sexual abuse online in the form of images. Additionally, special agent Alfin was assigned to the Miami Child Exploitation task force, and was involved in the arrest of a man who ran the world’s largest child pornography website known as PlayPen.
In recent years, various police investigations have torn through numerous large dark web forums that actively promote child exploitation. The New York Times reports that this is the first fatal shooting in the bureau since 2008.
More information regarding this story can be found at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/02/us/fbi-shooting-sunrise-florida.html.
Source: The New York Times