Fellow law enforcement officers, friends and family mourned slain FBI Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger at a memorial service on Saturday in Florida.
Schwartzenberger and Special Agent Daniel Alfin were shot and killed Tuesday while serving a federal search warrant at an apartment complex in Sunrise, Florida, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. The search warrant was part of an investigation into violent crimes against children and both agents were part of the bureau’s crimes against children squad in the Miami FBI field office.
A motorcade of police cars escorted the Schwartzenberger’s body from Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Parkland to the memorial at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. A memorial service for Alfin is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. at the stadium.
Along the way, the Plantation Fire Department lined its fire trucks on an overpass overlooking the procession to salute the slain agent.
Schwartzenberger’s flag-draped casket was wheeled onto the stadium field as bagpipes from the Police Pipe and Drum Corps of Florida played. Her husband and two young sons followed closely behind.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said Schwartzenberger took on one of the bureau’s hardest jobs in investigating crimes against children.
“She was brave in pursuit of criminals seeking to harm the most innocent and vulnerable among us, no matter how dangerous, and she relied on her heart, and compassion in smaller moments when it was needed the most,” he said.
Schwartzenberger’s name will be inscribed the bureau’s Wall of Honor at FBI headquarters, Wray said.
“When we look up and see it, we’ll remember Laura, in ways big and small, we’ll remember her love of life and her bright smile, and we’ll remember her as a dedicated agent, a committed public servant, and a courageous leader,” Wray said.
Schwartzenberger joined the FBI in 2005 and was assigned to the bureau’s field office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She served in the Miami field office since 2010, according to the bureau.
Wray said that Schwartzenberger was the first — and so far, the only — female FBI SWAT team member in the Albuquerque field office. To quality, applicants must complete a number of tests, including doing two pull-ups while wearing a 25-pound weighted vest. Schwartzenberger did five, he said.
Longtime friend Brenda Chavez spoke on behalf of Schwartzenberger’s family.
“From celebrating the birth of our beautiful babies, to reveling in their wonder of Disney World, from Laura’s infectious smile to her contagious laugh; so many beautiful memories,” said Chavez of her friend.
“Laura, you blessed the lives of each and every person you touched. We will never forget you,” said Chavez, her voice quivering.