One day after mourners gathered to honor the life of one FBI agent killed in a shooting outside a Sunrise apartment, the second agent who lost his life that day was being remembered.
A memorial took place Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium for Special Agent Daniel Alfin. The event was closed to the public and limited to invitation only due to COVID-19 restrictions.
"In honoring Daniel today we are not just saying goodbye to a colleague, a friend, a son, a brother or a husband, but we are collectively ensuring that his legacy lives on," brother Dennis Alfin said. "While today we say goodbye to Daniel's body, we will never say goodbye to his soul."
The 36-year-old Special Agent and his co-worker, 43-year-old Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, were shot and killed Tuesday morning while executing a search warrant as part of a violent crimes against children investigation.
"This is a very difficult and dark time for the FBI and really for the greater law enforcement community," FBI Miami's Special Agent in Charge George Piro said. "Both of these fine agents were dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable within our community, our children. Both worked extremely hard and were committed to the oath that they took."
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Aerial footage showed the procession Sunday to Hard Rock, where Alfin was memorialized by FBI agents past and present, local law enforcement and elected officials.
"Whenever you have a tragedy like this happen you all come together, you know," retired FBI agent Phillip Bond said. "This tragedy is something that only occurs in a very rare occasion and when it does it’s just heartbreaking."
Three other agents were wounded in Tuesday's shooting, one of the bloodiest in FBI history. The suspect who opened fire died at the scene.
FBI officials said Schwartzenberger and Alfin had both dedicated their careers to working crimes against children cases.
"On Tuesday we lost not one of our own, but two. Two warriors who took on one of the hardest jobs in the FBI: crimes against children," FBI Director Christopher Wray said.
Alfin joined the FBI in 2006 and began in the Albany, New York office before coming to Miami in 2017. He leaves behind a wife and one child. Alfin gained international attention when he led a team that shutdown a major worldwide child pornography website several years ago.
Saturday, an event was held inside Hard Rock Stadium for Schwartzenberger, whose casket was draped with an American flag as it was brought out to the field as bagpipers played.
“There are no good words to make sense of a loss like this, no good words for a day like Tuesday, or like today,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “There's a heaviness in our hearts and a burden unlike any other, because there is nothing more devastating to the FBI family than the loss of an agent in the line of duty.”
The flag was later folded into a triangle and presented to her family by Wray. She was given a 21-gun salute during the service.
“Laura chose to be part of a team that spends their days in darkness confronting the very worst parts of humanity. It's a job with high stress, high emotional toll and high burnout,” Wray said of the agent, who was originally from Pueblo, Colorado.
As tributes have poured in, so has the support. The foundation Tunnels to Towers, which helps the families of first responders killed in the line of duty, is one of those groups pledging their support to the families.
“We will pay off their mortgages and take that financial burden off their plate," said John Huvane, the group's national law enforcement liaison and a retired NYPD detective. "These children will not have to move based on loss of income or loss of a parent.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis directed flags to be flown at half-staff on Sunday at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Weston City Hall, and the State Capitol in honor of Alfin.