My condolences go out to the families and “brothers” of those FBI Agents who lost their lives or were injured in the line of duty.

Words cannot express how much it hurts to hear about tragedies like this, and I only hope Director Wray will support all those involved and use this incident to see how to avoid it from happening again, if that’s possible! Support from the top was never a given when things went bad years ago!

In the early 1970s we were out gunned and in need of more and better fire power. Our pleas to HQ fell on deaf ears (they told us to carry more guns, for real). The New York Bank Robbery Squad was in desperate need of firepower, so- much -so that a heroic and unnamed supervisor went out and bought, with his own money, 20 Mod 59 S&W 9mm 15 shot autos and sold them to 20 of us on the NYO BR squad. Many were used on the streets and saved lives.

We…all Agents with any brains at all… were begging for more fire power and our pleas continued to fall on deaf ears… until April 1986 and the Miami shoot out! One of the Agents killed was carrying a 5 shot revolver …up against a Ruger mini 14!

By 1988, and after many trial and error guns, we were finally well equipped, carrying Sig 226 16 shot autos…a great hand gun, “all around,” which means most all Agents, big and small, could shoot well, with proper training.

I will not speak, at all, to the tragic shooting yesterday because it takes guts to deal with the “unknown” each and every time a lawman approaches “any” closed door, any car, any dark street. They were indeed heroes, and I would never second guess any of them. I’ve been there many times and looked for support…not criticism!

I have been in trouble many times, but hey, you’ll never get in trouble if you never kick in any doors or make any arrests! I had the “honor” of being the first FBI Agent to go before the newly created FBI Shooting Board, my last week in the apple. One SAC wanted to commend my partner and I …while another wanted to fire us. Fortunately, ADIC John Malone, the boss, commended us and then dismissed the Board as justified shooting. The bad guy was very dangerous, decked my partner…twice… raised a gun to shoot during the foot-chase, then took a  little girl, 12 years old, as hostage/shield. He lost!

We also had a big advantage over the brick Agents of today, through no fault of their own.

I have been writing about this for years…that is… how important, valuable and necessary, “On The Job Training”, OJT is, to street survival!

The FBI used to be famous for our hard hitting crime fighting; fugitive arrests, dangerous raids, sky jacking and kidnapping cases, but then EVERYTHING changed. Not the fault of brick Agents, but the Powers to Be!

You see…Director Hoover recognized that “making” arrests is more important than “training” to make arrests. He also believed and rightly so, that keeping the FBI in the public’s view was vitally important to solving cases…if we did not receive information from the public, we could not solve cases!

There were 15 criminal violations, out of the 180 we investigated, when I hired on in 1969 that the FBI (Hoover) called “High Volume/High Profile” cases. They were Fugitives (mostly Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution or UFAP cases)…remember the “FBI Wanted Poster” you saw in the Post Office?

There was bank robbery, interstate theft which including the now extinct armed truck hijackings we worked, as well as interstate auto theft and prostitution. There was kidnapping, and several others that all resulted in daily arrests…press release and public attention.

The public attention is critical if you want to solve crimes. Just before Bob Mueller, the powers to be, turned over the Fugitive program to the US Marshals…big mistake, then Mueller drove the stake, half way through the FBI Crime Fighting reputation’s heart and Comey, a complete asshole, stopped the FBI in its tracks, driving that stake all the way through, by removing most everything except information (intel) gathering and made it almost impossible for the public or anybody else to contact their local FBI Office and speak to an Agent!!!

The last time I called the FBI to pass on info on a fugitive that I received from a reader…I got a recording to call 911 if it was an emergency! That is what Comey did to the FBI…he wanted all calls to go to Headquarters, HQ! That’s how the Lauderdale school shooting info from a caller, got buried!

Federal Agents, Police Officers must make arrests to keep sharp…that’s just the way it is!

I have no information on this latest shooting and don’t even know if it was SWAT or Agents looking to interview or to serve a search/arrest warrant. With five Agents, it was most likely more than an interview attempt, but whatever the reason, whatever the cause, there is always a chance things can go wrong. I just hope that the FBI finds what happened and takes steps to prevent it from reoccurring. My prayers are with those heroes, God Bless them all. J Gary DiLaura, The Right Side