2 FBI Agents Involved in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Arrest "FALL" Out of Helicopter and Die


Remember that scene in Scarface?

Two members of the FBI’s elite counterterrorism unit died Friday while practicing how to quickly drop from a helicopter to a ship using a rope, the FBI announced Monday in a statement.
The statement gave few details regarding the deaths of Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw, other than to say the helicopter encountered unspecified difficulties and the agents fell a “significant distance.”
Last month, the team was involved in the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. And in February, it rescued a 5-year-old boy held hostage for six days in an underground bunker in Alabama.
“Whenever things go really wrong, the FBI calls in the Hostage Rescue Team. It’s the government’s 911,” Coulson said.
Irvin Wells, a former FBI special agent who retired in 1990 after leading the Norfolk field office for three years, stressed that the Hostage Rescue Team is different from the FBI’s regular SWAT teams. He noted that agents assigned to a field office’s SWAT team also must perform other jobs inside the bureau, while agents assigned to the Hostage Rescue Team have no other duties.

WASHINGTON — Two members of the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team were killed during a maritime training exercise while rappelling from a helicopter to a ship, about 10 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va., bureau spokeswoman Ann Todd said.
Todd said the incident occurred between 1 and 2 p.m. Friday afternoon when a bureau helicopter encountered problems while the two agents, Christopher Lorek, 41, and Stephen Shaw, 40, were on the rappelling lines, causing them to fall into the ocean from at least 75 feet in the air.
A short time later, the helicopter was able to land without injury to crewmembers or an undisclosed number of others aboard. Todd said authorities are investigating weather conditions among the possible causes of the incident.
The deaths of Lorek and Shaw mark the third and fourth members of the counterterrorism unit to be lost in training exercises, and they are the first since 2006 when Agent Gregory Rahoi, 38, was killed in a live gunfire exercise.
"We mourn the loss of two brave and courageous men," FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a written statement. "Like all who serve on the Hostage Rescue Team, they accept the highest risk each and every day, when training and on operational missions, to keep our nation safe."
Created before the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the FBI quick-response unit can be deployed anywhere in the USA within four hours. The team, according to an FBI statement this year marking the unit's 30th anniversary, "possesses capabilities that do not exist anywhere else in civilian law enforcement."
"Operators are able to fast-rope out of helicopters, parachute with full mission equipment and conduct advanced SCUBA techniques," according to the bureau. Training includes marksmanship and expertise in explosives. "Each operator's skill and training ensures that the HRT can launch assaults with speed, precision and, if necessary, deadly force."
In a statement this year, FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce said that when Los Angeles won the nomination for the 1984 Olympics, there were questions about how the government would handle a potential terrorist event similar to the attack on the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich in which 11 members of the Israeli team were taken hostage and murdered.
"By law, the military cannot operate within the U.S. without presidential or legislative approval, so officials needed other tactical alternatives," Joyce said.
One of the unit's recent successes came in February when HRT members rescued a 5-year-old boy from an underground bunker where he had been held for six days by a kidnapper who was killed in the raid.
Shaw was not part of that operation. Lorek had been deployed to Alabama but was not part of the raid team.
Lorek joined the FBI in 1996. He is survived by a wife and two daughters, ages 11 and 8. Shaw joined the bureau in 2005 and is survived by a wife, a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.



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