By Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters
Two FBI agents were killed on Tuesday and three others were wounded as they tried to serve a search warrant at a Florida home in an early morning raid that turned into one of the federal law enforcement agency’s bloodiest episodes in decades, the bureau said.
As a team of law enforcement officers tried to execute the court-ordered warrant involving violent crimes against children at a home in Sunrise, Florida, shots were fired at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT), the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
Two wounded agents were hospitalized in stable condition, the FBI said. The subject of the warrant also died, it said. None of the victims were identified.
The man being investigated had apparently barricaded himself inside the apartment complex and was found dead, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified officials. It was unclear how he died, the newspaper.
The scene near the home in Sunrise, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Miami, was swarming with emergency and law enforcement vehicles from the FBI and from police in Sunrise and surrounding jurisdictions, including Fort Lauderdale, which is just east of Sunrise.
The shooting deaths of the two agents, which remains under investigation, was one of the bloodiest episodes in FBI history. In 1986, two agents, also in Florida, were killed and five others were wounded in a Miami shootout with two bank robbery suspects, according the bureau’s website.
The last fatal shooting of an FBI agent on duty was on Nov. 19, 2008, which also unfolded during the execution of a warrant, according to the website. Agent Samuel Hicks was shot and killed as he sought to execute a federal arrest warrant associated with a drug trafficking organization in Pittsburgh, it said.