Two Quantico – based FBI special agents, Special Agent Christopher Lorek and Special Agent Stephen Shaw, were killed in a training accident off the coast of Virginia Beach Friday, according to a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Norfolk office, Vanessa Torres.
“Special Agent Christopher Lorek and Special Agent Stephen Shaw were assigned to the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group. The cause of the incident is under review,” she stated.
The two Special Agents, Lorek and Shaw, were part of the FBI’s ultra-elite Hostage Rescue Team, of which the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group is a part.
The FBI’s Hostage Rescue team was established in 1983. It is considered a top-level counter-terrorism unit, which has often trained with Navy SEALs in the past. Whether or not the military was involved in the Friday training incident is not known at this time.
A Coast Guard spokesperson said that there was no Coast Guard involvement in this incident, although the Coast Guard did receive a page about the incident on Friday night.
The cause of the accident are still under investigation, but preliminary information that has been released indicates that at least one military helicopter was involved.
FBI spokeswoman Vanessa Torres said the accident is under investigation and had no further details or identities of the victims.
Following the accident which resulted in the deaths of the two agents, they were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in a helicopter, which landed at the hospital’s helipad.
It has not yet been disclosed if the hospital knew the helicopter was coming, nor if anyone there knew who was aboard it, though it is the usual protocol that Sentara would have been notified via radio to the Emergency Department.
However, if a helicopter is out of the jurisdiction of Sentara, it may not have the hospital’s frequency programmed into its radios.
On Sunday afternoon, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said:
“We mourn the loss of two brave and courageous men. 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. Our hearts are with their wives, children, and other loved ones who feel their loss most deeply. And they will always be part of the FBI Family.”
According to an article by Allan Lengel in ticklethewire.com, Special Agent Lorek, 41, joined the FBI in 1996. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 11 and 8. Special Agent Shaw, 40, joined the FBI in 2005 and is survived by his wife; a daughter, age 3; and a son, age 1.
It will be Monday morning at the earliest, according to an investigator with the Norfolk Medical Examiner’s office, before information regarding the cause of death will be released
Written by: Douglas R. Cobb