Gunman who killed FBI agents led a seemingly mundane life. But some neighbors were wary

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The FBI on Wednesday identified the gunman who mowed down five FBI agents at the door of his Sunrise apartment — but as agents pored over the crime scene for a second day, what prompted the violent outburst remained a mystery.

David Lee Huber, 55, appeared to live a largely innocuous life — one in stark contrast to the murder of two FBI agents as they arrived to serve him with a search warrant in a child-pornography case.

Huber worked as a computer systems engineer, had a pilot’s license, and was married for 16 years before divorcing in 2016, according to public records. The only previous encounters with law enforcement in those records were confined to traffic tickets and an eviction in Colorado. He doesn’t seem to have had any public footprint on social media and struck at least one former neighbor at the Sunrise complex as anti-social.

April Evans told the Herald he was awkward and rarely interacted with other neighbors. From the door, it appeared he had little furniture and lived alone, although his two sons sometimes visited.

“He is very weird and very grumbling. If you would speak to him, he would usually not speak back,” said Evans, who lived one floor up from him for a couple of years. “If he did, it was just a grunt under his breath.”

Evans identified Huber when shown his photo by a reporter, although she didn’t know his name until he was identified by the FBI. She also recalled that a couple of years ago, an exterminator contracted by the apartment complex told her that he had a scary experience when he entered Huber’s first-floor apartment.

“He was shaken and said, ‘Oh my God, the guy that lived downstairs just had a gun in my face,’ ” she recalled the exterminator saying.

David Lee Huber, suspected of shooting and killing two FBI agents on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
David Lee Huber, suspected of shooting and killing two FBI agents on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

A Sunrise Police spokesperson could not immediately say Wednesday whether the department had ever been called to the complex because of Huber.

The FBI, still investigating one of the bloodiest days in agency history, formally named Huber as the gunman in a news release Wednesday afternoon. A law enforcement source said Huber was the target of the sealed federal warrant to search his electronics for child pornography.

Huber murdered FBI agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger and injured three others Tuesday morning as agents were attempting to execute the search warrant in a child-pornography investigation at his apartment in the Water Terrace complex in Sunrise, several miles north of the Sawgrass Mills outlet mall.

A law enforcement source familiar with the warrant, still under seal, said the case against him was “run of the mill,” meaning that he was suspected of exchanging images of underage children engaging in sex — not the more severe crime of manufacturing and distributing illegal graphic images. However, FBI agents are still evaluating evidence found on the hard drive of Huber’s computer and other evidence to determine the extent of his internet child-porn activities, the source said.

Investigators believe Huber likely spotted approaching agents on his doorbell camera before firing at them through the closed front door of his apartment with an assault rifle. He was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the FBI agents and barricaded himself in the apartment for a couple of hours before killing himself, according to several law enforcement sources.

The property and entrance into the gated community where he lives remained sealed off Wednesday as the FBI flew in a forensics team from Washington, D.C., to investigate the tragedy. South Florida Special Agent Mike Leverock, a spokesman, said an “inspection team” from Washington, D.C., “is reviewing the incident” and gathering forensic evidence at the Sunrise apartment.

FBI Director Christopher Wray flew in to South Florida on Wednesday to meet with the agents’ families and members of the child pornography task force, along with U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan, and her first assistant, prosecutor Tony Gonzalez, at the bureau’s South Florida field office in Miramar. Earlier, Wray toured the shooting scene.

Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger was 43 years old. She was born in Pueblo, Colorado, and joined the FBI in 2005. Her initial assignment was with the FBI’s Albuquerque, New Mexico, office. She was reassigned to FBI Miami in 2010 and worked crimes against children cases for over seven years. She is survived by her husband and two children.
Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger was 43 years old. She was born in Pueblo, Colorado, and joined the FBI in 2005. Her initial assignment was with the FBI’s Albuquerque, New Mexico, office. She was reassigned to FBI Miami in 2010 and worked crimes against children cases for over seven years. She is survived by her husband and two children.

By Wednesday afternoon, the FBI and investigators had not provided any details of what Huber was being investigated for, other than possession of illegal child pornography.

In a news release, the FBI said two injured agents had been released from Broward Medical Health Center. A third agent hurt in the confrontation with Huber was not admitted to the hospital.

In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Miami’s FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro focused on his agents, saying they came under fire during a violent crimes against children investigation.

“Dan and Laura left home this morning to carry out the mission they signed up for,” Piro said. “We will always honor them.”

Special Agent Dan Alfin was 36 years old. He was born in New York and joined the FBI in 2009 with his initial assignment to the FBI’s Albany, New York, office. He had been assigned to FBI Miami since 2017 and had worked crimes against children violations for over six years. He is survived by his wife and one child.
Special Agent Dan Alfin was 36 years old. He was born in New York and joined the FBI in 2009 with his initial assignment to the FBI’s Albany, New York, office. He had been assigned to FBI Miami since 2017 and had worked crimes against children violations for over six years. He is survived by his wife and one child.

On Wednesday, agents continued scouring the complex for bullets and other evidence. Neighbors in the suburban apartment complex were shaken by the gunfire. Some even thought the sounds were of a roof collapsing.

One neighbor recalled the rapid gunfire, followed by a lull and then another volley of bullets, awakening the complex.

“Nothing ever happens here,” said one woman, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Sally. “It is such a nice community. ... One incident doesn’t make a community. I feel confident police, authorities and the housing complex are doing everything to make us feel safe.”

Public records show that Huber, who was born in Louisiana, spent most of his life in South Florida. But those records only sketched out his life here. He married in late 2000 and divorced in 2016, according to court records. The Herald is not naming his ex-wife because she could not be reached for comment.

Until they divorced, the couple lived together in an 8,400-square-foot lakeside home in a gated community in Pembroke Pines, records show. The divorce records show they had two children, and in 2015, he earned $80,000 as a temporary systems engineer through the employment agency Modis.

The earliest business records available on Sunbiz, a state corporate records website, say he ran a company called World Tech Supplies in Kendall in 1988. It appears he was licensed as a commercial pilot in 1994, though it’s unclear from the records whether he ever held a job in aviation.

Florida business records also show Huber registered two short-lived computer consulting businesses to the Pembroke Pines address in the mid 2000s. Both Huber Computer Consulting and COMPUTER TROUBLESHOOTERS 0512 INC were inactive within a few years after being incorporated.

A pair of traffic tickets from late 2016 show Huber had moved to the apartment complex in Sunrise where Tuesday’s shooting took place. The apartment, in a townhome complex at the southwest corner of Nob Hill Road and Northwest 44th Street, is in a typical west Broward County community with large roadways lined by oaks. The neighborhood is a combination of warehouses, mostly medical, and middle-income homes and townhouses.

He drove a 2013 Hyundai. Employees at Lyon Living, which manages the building where Huber lived, said Wednesday they were not authorized to speak about the suspected gunman.

Miami Herald staff writer Devoun Cetoute contributed to this report.

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