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Fallen Agents Remembered for Their “True Valor”

Special Agents Christopher W. Lorek and Stephen P. Shaw, who died May 17 during maritime counterterrorism exercise, were remembered by Director Mueller and others at a memorial service in Quantico, Virginia.

May 21, 2013 06:00 PM

Fallen Agents Remembered for Their “True Valor”

Officer pays respects while flags fly at half mastOn May 21, 2013, the FBI saluted two special agents killed in a training accident as devoted husbands and fathers and as men of valor who “walked willingly into places most of us dare not go” while serving on the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT).

Special Agent Christopher W. Lorek, 41, and Special Agent Stephen P. Shaw, 40, died May 17 during a maritime counterterrorism exercise involving helicopters and a ship off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The agents were in the process of fast-roping from the aircraft onto the ship when the helicopter encountered difficulties. The agents tragically fell a significant distance and suffered fatal injuries.

At the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial Chapel at Quantico—together with family, friends, and colleagues of the two agents—Director Mueller heralded the men as members of an elite team that “assumes the greatest risk as part of their everyday job.”

Agent Lorek joined the FBI in 1996 in a professional support role. Two years later, he became an agent and headed to Milwaukee for his first field office assignment. He graduated HRT operator training in July 2008, and most recently, served on the team that rescued the 5-year-old boy taken hostage in Alabama.

“Intelligent, thoughtful, and always up for a challenge, with a ready smile on his face,” the Director said of Lorek, a native of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, who is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 11 and 8.

Agent Shaw entered the FBI in 2005 and graduated from HRT operator training in November 2011. He earned recognition for his leadership skills and his willingness to take on even the most menial of tasks for the benefit of his team.

“He seemed to genuinely like and take an interest in everyone around him, regardless of rank or situation,” Director Mueller said. “He was quick to make you feel like you were his best friend…his brother.” Born in Santa Paula, California, Agent Shaw is survived by his wife, a daughter who turns 4 this week, and a son, age 1.

Trained in military tactics, HRT members put themselves in harm’s way to help safeguard the nation and to save lives, serving as federal law enforcement’s counterterrorism tactical team. 2013 marks the HRT’s 30th anniversary.

“True and unerring valor was a gift given to both Chris and Steve—a gift that was tested time and again, through their commitment to the FBI, to the Hostage Rescue Team, and to the citizens they served,” the Director said.

Director’s Remarks | Press ReleaseThe Hostage Rescue Team