Tuesday's tragic FBI shooting in Sunrise comes nearly 35 years after a similar South Florida shootout that also left two agents dead and led to changes in the weapons, body armor and tactics throughout law enforcement nationwide.
The April 11, 1986 shootout in what was then unincorporated Miami-Dade County and is now Pinecrest took the lives of agents Jerry L. Dove and Benjamin P. Grogan and left five other agents wounded, in one of the single bloodiest days in FBI history.
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Dove, Grogan and the other agents became engaged in a firefight with suspects Michael Lee Platt, a former Army Ranger in Vietnam, and William Russell Matix, who were suspected of several killings and violent bank robberies.
Among the suspects' weapons was a Ruger Mini-14 rifle that outmatched anything the FBI agents had on hand, leaving the agents pinned down amid 130 rounds of gunfire lasting about five minutes. The suspects were finally stopped by wounded Agent Edmundo Mireles firing a pump shotgun and handgun as the two tried to steal a car to escape, according to the FBI's history of the event.
That shotgun, the robbers' weapons and the FBI credentials of Dove and Grogan are part of a memorial display inside the Miramar FBI building that was dedicated to Dove and Grogan back in 2016, on the 30th anniversary of the shootout, at a ceremony attended by then FBI Director James Comey.
Comey said the gunbattle showed U.S. law enforcement drastically needed to update equipment and training to face criminals who were increasingly using military-grade weapons. Soon after, FBI agents began carrying easier-to-reload semiautomatic handguns rather than revolvers.
Details were still coming in on Tuesday's shooting in Sunrise, which left two veteran FBI agents dead and three wounded.