MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — A slain FBI agent was remembered for her strength, infectious laugh, love of family and commitment to protecting children during a memorial service Saturday.
Agents Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, and Daniel Alfin, 36, were gunned down Tuesday while serving a search warrant at the Sunrise home of a child pornography suspect.
The service for Schwartzenberger was held at the Hard Rock Stadium. It was not open to the public.
A separate service for Alfin will be held there Sunday afternoon.
LIVE: Loved ones and colleagues have gathered at Hard Rock Stadium to say goodbye to FBI Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this week in Sunrise. https://t.co/xWFqMF38yv
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) February 6, 2021
“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 day started with a family service at a church in Parkland. From there, the procession made its way to Miami Gardens.
Schwartzenberger’s casket was draped with an American flag as it was brought out to the field as bagpipers played. 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. “Laura never stopped. She’d talk to anybody and everybody about protecting children from predators online.”
“She embodied the core values of the FBI: fidelity, bravery and integrity,” said FBI Special Agent George Piro.
A White House representative and Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson joined hundreds of men and women in law enforcement at the service.
“Anytime law enforcement gets killed in the line of duty, there’s a special connection,” said Officer Brian Bell with the Indian River Shores Public Service Department.
7News reporter Nicole Linsalata had the honor of emceeing the service.
Close friend Brenda Chavez remembered the 43-year-old wife and mother of two boys.
“A loving wife, a doting mother, an inspirational sister, an affectionate daughter,” she said as she held back tears.
As the emotional evening came to a conclusion with the ceremonious end of watch radio call, some said they find comfort in knowing Schwartzenberger’s legacy lives on.
“We will never forget you … and you will forever be in our hearts,” said Chavez.
The shootings marked one of the bloodiest days in FBI history in South Florida and among the deadliest nationally as well, according to the FBI website. Suspect David Huber, 55, killed himself before he could be arrested.
Alfin’s service is set to begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
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