Death of South Florida FBI agents reminds about dangers of serving warrants

A deadly shootout between FBI agents and a suspect in South Florida serves as a reminder of how dangerous the job of law enforcement can be.

Tuesday morning, a standoff between the suspect and FBI agents who were serving a warrant led to the death of two agents and injuries for three others. 

The confrontation in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Sunrise marked one of the bloodiest days in South Florida FBI's history, and among the deadliest nationally, according to the FBI website.

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Former Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputy and drug task force member Lou Leinhauser estimates that he has taken part in over 300 raids of suspect homes and businesses.

A private investigator today, Leinhauser says agents generally do extensive planning before serving a warrant, by looking at potential exits, the hours a suspect keeps, and knowing what weapons they have. Despite all that, things can turn quickly.

"You can do everything right, everything by the book, everything perfect, and terrible things can still happen," Leinhauser explained. "If you are human, your blood is pumping."

The agents in Miami were faced with a child porn suspect. 

(Courtesy: WSVN)

They later learned he was watching their movements using a doorbell camera and ambushed them with a high-powered rifle, firing through the door.

"If you have somebody who is willing to commit crimes as heinous as violent child pornography, you have to believe they are capable of anything," said Leinhauser.

Now it will be up to investigators to determine what, if anything, could have been done differently. 

After-the-fact evaluations are done both for operations that end without injuries, and those that do.

"We all feel each other's pain when this kind of thing happens," said Leinhauser. "I have to say that my heart goes out to the slain agents and the bureau because it is a very, very tough day."