David Lee Huber was a 55-year-old computer consultant who was named by the FBI as the suspect accused of shooting and killing two veteran FBI agents who were executing a warrant in a child exploitation case.
A statement sent to media on February 3 by FBI Miami Public Information Officer Jim Marshall and obtained by Heavy named the suspect and said his photo would not be released.
He was described by neighbors as a “loner,” sending off red flags to some. There were some pockmarks in an otherwise seemingly typical life — a divorce, a bankruptcy, and an eviction. But he had no criminal history.
In a statement the day of the shooting, February 2, FBI Director Chris Wray named the deceased agents as Special Agents Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, and Daniel Alfin, 36.
The FBI director paid tribute to to both agents for exemplifying “heroism today in defense of their country.”
In addition to the slain agents, the suspect also shot three other agents. Wray indicated that two were in stable condition at the hospital the day of the shooting and one did not suffer wounds requiring hospitalization. The following day, Marshall said one agent had been released from the hospital and one was still being treated.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Huber Was Described as a ‘Loner’ & ‘Coo-Coo Bird’ by Neighbors & Was Divorced in 2016
FBI Director Chris Wray: “Special Agent Daniel Alfin and Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, were shot and killed this morning in the line of duty while executing a federal court-ordered search warrant in a crimes against children investigation in Sunrise, Florida.” pic.twitter.com/Ct7USw2ihm
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) February 2, 2021
The South Florida Sun Sentinel quoted a neighbor who went a step farther, calling Huber a “coo-coo bird” he’d complained about to the homeowners’ association.
Another neighbor told the Miami Herald that Huber, who was married for 16 years before divorcing, seemed anti-social. He was once evicted in Colorado, the newspaper reported.
April Evans told the Herald he seemed to have little furniture and lived alone.
“He is very weird and very grumbling. If you would speak to him, he would usually not speak back,” said Evans to the newspaper. “If he did, it was just a grunt under his breath.” She described to the newspaper how an exterminator who visited his apartment once said, “Oh my God, the guy that lived downstairs just had a gun in my face.”
Court records show he was divorced in 2016. According to Local10, he had three children.
2. Huber Was a Former Mortgage Broker & Systems Engineer
— ABC News (@ABC) February 2, 2021
According to the Sun Sentinel, Huber was a former mortgage broker who worked as a “systems engineer.”
According to the newspaper, he also worked in Colorado and was a contract employee with Modis, earning $80,000. He filed for bankruptcy in Florida in 2003, according to federal court records reviewed by Heavy.
Alfin and Schwartzenberger had worked for years to protect children from Internet predators.
They were “veteran agents of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force program,” according to the Miami Herald.
“Special Agent Alfin and Special Agent Schwartzenberger exemplified heroism today in defense of their country,” Wray said in his statement. “The FBI will always honor their ultimate sacrifice and will be forever grateful for their bravery.”
He added, “We continue to stand by our FBI Family, and the families of these Special Agents, in the days to come, bringing every resource we can to get through this together.”
Videos showed the bodies of the agents accompanied by law enforcement escort as they were transported to the medical examiner’s office. One body was draped with an American flag. You can watch that video here.
3. The Suspect, Who Used a Doorbell Camera to See the Agents Coming, Ran Short-Lived Computer Businesses
Este es David Lee Huber de 55, el individuo que disparó contra los agentes del #FBI, asesinando a dos e hiriendo a 3, durante un operativo contra la pornografía infantil.
Se desconoce como el FBI no sabía que estaba fuertemente armado https://t.co/gG92oMUOft pic.twitter.com/qZxOuXGyT3
— Antena305.com (@ernestorios786) February 4, 2021
The Miami Herald reported that it’s believed the suspect shot and killed himself.
The newspaper reported that the suspect saw the agents coming through a doorbell camera and opened fire through a door.
According to the Herald, he ran a series of short-lived businesses, including a company called World Tech Supplies in 1988 and computer consulting businesses named Huber Computer Consulting and COMPUTER TROUBLESHOOTERS 0512 INC.
4. Huber, Who Had No Criminal History, Had a Commercial Pilot’s License
Huber had no criminal history beyond traffic tickets and obtained a commercial pilot’s license nearly 30 years ago, Local10 reported.
The two agents were helping serve a warrant on the suspect when he was killed; the suspect was wanted for “violent crimes against children,” NBC Miami reported.
The Miami Herald reported that the two agents were executing a “routine search warrant to seize the suspect’s computer and other evidence.”
They had matched an internet search history to the suspect, the newspaper reported.
The Water Terrace apartment complex was the scene of the shooting at 6:04 a.m. in Sunrise, Florida, which is near Fort Lauderdale.
5. The Slain Agents Were Both Veterans of Child Exploitation Cases
Alfin signed the affidavit that backed up a complaint against former Miami mayoral aide Rene Pedrosa, who was accused in a groping and lewd photo case.
According to the affidavit, obtained by Heavy and filed in federal court with the case, Alfin had been a Special Agent with the FBI since April 2009.
Alfin was quoted in an FBI article on the sentencing of the creator of what the agency alleged was “the world’s largest child pornography website,” Playpen.
“We were only able to pull it off with a lot of support from our international partners and field offices,” Alfin was quoted in the story, which said he “investigated the case as part of the Bureau’s Violent Crimes Against Children section.”
According to The New York Times, Alfin was also involved in an investigation “into a dark web forum beginning in 2014 where members would upload and trade graphic images of child sexual abuse.”
#FBI Seattle offers our condolences to the family and friends of Special Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger, including our colleagues at @FBIMiamiFL. We’re grateful for their bravery, and we honor their ultimate sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/Wh62KbzIgy
— FBI Seattle (@FBISeattle) February 2, 2021
Alfin was so experienced in the area that he instructed other FBI agents on child exploitation cases, according to the federal affidavit.
“I have also participated in training programs for the investigation and enforcement of federal child pornography laws relating to the use of computers for receiving, transmitting, and storing child pornography,” he wrote in the federal court document.
“I am a member of the FBI Adjunct Faculty Program and certified to provide instruction to other FBI Agents and law enforcement officers in certain areas relating to child exploitation investigations. I am proficient in the area of computer forensics and trained to perform computer forensics for the FBI.”
He added, “I have been recognized as an expert in federal court in areas relating to computer forensics and the investigation of child exploitation crimes. I have testified in federal court on more than 20 occasions, both as an expert and a lay witness.”
As with Alfin, Schwartzenberger was an expert in investigations to protect children.
A 2016 tweet from a Florida middle school indicated Schwartzenberger spoke to children at the school about cyber safety. “Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger giving a lesson on cyber safety in Law Studies!” the tweet reads.
In 2020, she spoke at the school again. “Great to have FBI Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger join us to present to our 6th Grade Legal Studies & Forensic Science students about online safety and cyber crimes!” a tweet reads.
Great to have FBI Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger join us to present to our 6th Grade Legal Studies & Forensic Science students about online safety and cyber crimes! @MDCPSCentral @FBIMiamiFL @FBI @miamimagnets pic.twitter.com/sJ906w1Wdc
— Rockway MS (@rmsfalcons) February 13, 2020
In 2018, Schwartzenberger spoke to a local CBS affiliate about a “sextortion” scam in which criminals claimed they had hacked into people’s webcams and demanded money, saying they would release compromising images or videos of the victim. “It is very traumatizing for the victim,” Schwartzenberger told the station in that interview. “Their reputation is on the line.”
She warned, “There has been cases where they’ve hacked into the victim’s computer and hacked the person’s camera. That is where they got images or videos.”
The Miami Herald reported that Schwartzenberger had been an FBI agent since 2005 and was assigned to the Miami office of the FBI’s Innocent Images National Initiative, which “investigates the online sexual exploitation of children.”
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