Multiple news outlets in and around Miami have reported that at least five FBI Agents have been shot and at least two were killed while serving a search warrant in the 10000 block of Reflections Blvd. early Tuesday morning. It is believed that the suspect then took his own life.
An FBI representative confirmed that there were injuries resulting from the shooting but declined to comment further.
The agents were shot while serving a search warrant on a Sunrise, Florida man who was suspected of possession of child pornography. According to the Miami Herald, FBI agents conducted the search warrant and local officers were also present on the scene.
It is common for municipal officers to be present during federal or other large-scale raids at homes for a more visible, marked police presence.
Otisha Browning-Smith, a spokesperson for the Sunrise Police Department said that the officers were serving the search warrant around 6 a.m. when the first shots were fired at the agents.
A tweet from the Sunrise Police Department confirmed the deaths of the two agents.
*Update" 11:10am: The following is an official statement provided by the FBI in reference to the incident at 10100 block of Reflections Blvd, Sunrise, FL 33351. pic.twitter.com/0Qo3IktRZs
— Sunrise Police FL (@SunrisePoliceFL) February 2, 2021
The search warrant for possession of child pornography entails seizing electronic items that could have an evidentiary value such as computers, cell phones, and routers, in addition to other items specifically named in the warrant.
The danger for officers — whether local, state, or federal — is a very present concern when serving warrants and South Florida is no stranger to such violent encounters. As recently as August 2020, a Daytona Beach Police Officer was shot in the chest while he and other officers conducted a search warrant on a residence. The officer’s bullet-proof vest likely saved his life in that encounter.
Historically, today’s tragedy may rival the events that unfolded nearly 35 years ago, just outside of Miami.
On April 11, 1986, FBI Agents were hunting for two “violent bank robbers” who had also murdered several people since the previous October. Once they encountered the suspects, a quick and violent firefight ensued, which ultimately left two agents dead and five agents wounded, three seriously. The agents, though seriously wounded, were ultimately able to kill the suspects. It was the deadliest FBI-involved shootout in history and ultimately it went on to push FBI policy change regarding firepower and protective gear provided to agents.
An attempt for a further update from FBI officials, regarding today’s incident, was unsuccessful.