The FBI on Wednesday identified the man believed to have shot and killed two FBI agents at a Florida apartment complex before taking his own life as 55-year-old David Lee Huber.
Online biographies indicate that Huber worked as a systems engineer, and state business records show he registered two technology companies – Huber Computer Consulting and Computer Troubleshooters 0512 Inc. – in the early 2000s. In 1994, he was issued a pilot’s certificate, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. He was divorced in 2016, and court records appear to indicate he had at least one child.
Court records indicate Huber had been cited for traffic violations in the past. Florida Department of Law Enforcement records did not show any criminal history.
FBI agents were attempting to serve a search warrant at Huber’s apartment Tuesday in Sunrise, Fla., a bedroom community just northwest of Fort Lauderdale, in connection with an investigation involving crimes against children when he apparently opened fire, officials have said. The shots killed two FBI agents and wounded three others, the officials said.
The bureau identified those slain as special agents Daniel Alfin, 36, and Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, who both specialized in investigating child pornography and crimes against children.
Two of the wounded had to be hospitalized, as each was shot multiple times, though the FBI said Wednesday that both were released. The third wounded agent did not need to be hospitalized, officials have said.
The shooting was one of the deadliest episodes for the FBI in recent memory. It was the first time since 2008 that FBI personnel were fatally shot while performing law enforcement work, and it drew comparisons to an incident 35 years ago in which two agents were killed and five others were wounded in a bloody shootout in a residential suburb of Miami.
Both Alfin and Schwartzenberger were married and themselves had children, and their work sometimes put them in the public eye. Alfin, for example, was involved in the investigation of the creator of what was believed to be the world’s largest child pornography website – Playpen – and spoke for an FBI article about the case and the broader threat of child pornography online.
“It’s ongoing, and we continue to address the threat to the best of our abilities,” Alfin said. “It’s the same with any criminal violation: As they get smarter, we adapt, we find them. It’s a cat-and-mouse game, except it’s not a game. Kids are being abused, and it’s our job to stop that.”
Schwartzenberger, too, conducted child exploitation investigations that led to seizures of child pornography and to criminal convictions, and she would periodically talk about her work and the dangers of social media to students at Miami’s Rockway Middle School, the school said in a statement.
“She would always say, ‘I feel that coming here and talking about the hard stuff means that I won’t see you guys on my end,’ ” the school said in a statement.
On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray met with the families of the slain agents, and visited the crime scene, a person familiar with his visit said.
Many details of the encounter remain unclear, and the FBI’s Inspection Division is investigating the matter. Efforts to reach Huber’s relatives were not successful Wednesday. According to an online obituary, his father, Gary Huber, an Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam, died in 2019. The Dayton Daily News reported that he had shot himself in the chest; his stepdaughter told the newspaper he had been widowed and was battling depression and other health problems.
At the apartment complex where he lived, there remained a heavy police presence, with authorities allowing only residents onto the grounds.
Brian O’Hare, president of the FBI Agents Association, said investigators were at the residence “to seize evidence in connection with suspected possession of child pornography.” Generally in such cases, agents connect an IP address to a person and a physical address, then move in to seize computer equipment to further their investigation.
In a brief press statement Tuesday, George Piro, the FBI special agent in charge of the Miami Field Office, said agents serve such warrants almost daily, and they generally proceed without incident. He also said agents “thoroughly research and meticulously plan to take into account any threats or dangers,” though he did not detail what particular steps they took to investigate Huber before moving in.
FBI agents know that any search can come with risk, and that suspects in child porn cases might be particularly desperate, given the nature of such crimes and the shame and legal penalties associated with it. But agents generally need special court permission to serve a warrant without knocking and announcing their presence. It remained unclear if they knocked before Tuesday’s shooting.
– – –
Rozsa reported from Sunrise, Fla. The Washington Post’s Meryl Kornfield and Alice Crites contributed to this report.