Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Slip from ropes killed 2 FBI agents

It was a counterterrorism training exercise that the two agents from the FBI's elite hostage rescue unit had completed dozens of times before: rappelling from a helicopter onto the deck of a ship at sea.

But as Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw began their descent on Friday onto a ship roughly a dozen miles off the coast of Virginia, the helicopter suddenly tilted because of a strong gust of wind. As the pilot tried to steady the aircraft, the two men, holding onto the ropes and loaded down with gear, lost their grips and fell.

By the time they were rescued from the water, one of them was dead. The other died soon after.

The episode, announced Sunday by the FBI, was the first time that an agent has died in the line of duty since December 2011. In the past 12 years, six others have been killed. The FBI has about 14,000 agents.

Lorek, 41, and Shaw, 40, are believed to have died from blunt trauma, according to a senior law enforcement official who provided details Monday based on an initial investigation by the bureau. The official spoke to the New York Times on condition of anonymity because an investigation of the accident is ongoing.

Lorek had been a member of the hostage rescue unit, based in Quantico, Va., for six years. Shaw joined the unit 21/2 years ago. The men, both married and fathers of two, lived near Quantico.

Slip from ropes killed 2 FBI agents 05/20/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Prosecutors tried to delay a trial because of the eclipse. Florida judge cited 'Star Trek' in ruling

    Criminal

    The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but they cannot be stopped by Monday's total eclipse, a judge has ruled.

    Schweta Kulkarni, from left, Rhea Kulkarni and Saanvi Kulkarni, from Seattle, try out their eclipse glasses on the sun at a gathering of eclipse viewers in Salem, Ore., early Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) ORDR102
  2. Top 5 at Noon: Mayoral race affects ballpark decision; stream the eclipse live

    News

    Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:

    Looking east at Tropicana Field and downtown St. Petersburg.  SCOTT KEELER    |    Times

  3. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

    Blogs

    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …

  4. AP Top 25: Alabama first, FSU, UF, Miami and USF all in top 20

    Blogs

    As expected, Alabama will start the season at No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

  5. Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis

    Movies

    The day the clown died, Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis.

    Jerry Lewis in 2005. Lewis, the comedian and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91 (New York Times)