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Tag: obit

TSA Manager is 33rd Employee of the Agency to Died After Contracting COVID-19

By Steve Neavling

A TSA manager died Saturday after contracting COVID-19. 

Transportation Security Manager Joseph “Joe” Santos, who worked at San Diego International Airport, was the 33rd TSA employee to die due to COVID-19 complications. 

Santos was a military policeman for the U.S. Marine Corps. After retiring, he joined the TSA in March 2002 and helped roll out screening operations at various airports nationwide as a member of the Mobile Screening Force. 

In October 2002, he returned San Diego, and the following month he was promoted to manager. 

“He will be fondly remembered and his hard work, leadership and dedication to the TSA mission will be greatly missed,” the TSA said in a statement. “We offer our heartfelt condolences to Santos’s family, friends and colleagues.”

Border Patrol Mourns Death of Supervisory Agent Rafael G. Sanchez

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Rafael G. Sanchez

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol on Thursday announced the death of Supervisory Agent Rafael G. Sanchez. 

Sanchez, who joined the agency in September 2002, served as a field training officer in the Del Rio Sector.  

He died on Oct. 24.

The circumstances of his death remain unclear. 

“The Sanchez family will forever be a part of our Border Patrol Family. Though he was a member of Laredo Sector at the time of his passing, Agent Sanchez served in Del Rio Sector for many years,” Chief Robert Danley said on the Del Rio Sector’s Facebook page. “As a Field Training Officer at the Del Rio Station, he had an immeasurable impact on our sector as he trained and readied dozens of new agents for their new careers. Rest easy Agent Sanchez. You are not forgotten.” 

Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller added on Twitter, “I am deeply saddened to share the passing of Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Rafael Sanchez. Agent Sanchez entered on duty on September 16, 2002, and was most recently assigned to the Hebbronville Station in Laredo Sector. @CBP will forever honor his service and sacrifice.”

35-Year-Old Border Patrol Agent at McCallen Station Dies; CBP Grieves

Photo illustration: CBP

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent assigned to the McAllen Station died earlier this week, CBP announced Wednesday. 

Agent Ricardo Zarate, who began his career with CBP in 2009, passed away Monday. 

“I am deeply saddened to share the loss of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Zarate,” Troy A. Miller, acting CBP commissioner, said on Twitter.  

“With a heavy heart, we regret to announce the line-of-duty death of Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Zarate,” CBP said in a statement. “Agent Zarate entered on duty on February 12, 2009, as part of session 922. We will never forget.”

CBP didn’t divulge details of his death, including the cause. 

Zarate was a husband and father, according to a death notice. 

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Remembered After Fatal Crash

Photo: U.S. Border Patrol via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

Douglas L. Hatcher was just three months from retiring from the U.S. Border Patrol when he died in an off-duty recreational vehicle crash in Texas earlier this week.  

Hatcher, 50, was a supervisory agent at the Uvalde Station in South Texas. 

He died Monday at University Hospital in San Antonio. 

“We are deeply saddened to inform you of the loss of one of our own,” the Uvalde Station said on Facebook. “He will be missed by everyone.”

Hatcher began his career in Carrizo Springs before he was transferred to Del Rio Sector.

While not working, Hatcher was a frequent volunteer, youth football coach, and father of two sons, according to Uvalde Leader-News.

“He was a good father, a good man, and a good neighbor,” Hatchher’s longtime friend and neighbor, Betty Hilderbran, said. “He always had a smile.”

First United Methodist Church member Nancy Feely recalled how Hatcher delivered a box of to-go meals to coworkers who weren’t able to attend a law enforcement appreciate dinner on July 24.

“Our deepest condolences to the entire Hatcher family,” Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco said. “May he rest in peace. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and all the United States Border Patrol agents. May God keep y’all strong and united through these difficult times.”

James Kallstrom, Who Led FBI’s New York Field Office and Probe of TWA Flight 800, Dies

Former FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Kallstrom

By Steve Neavling

James K. Kallstrom, the former head of the New York Field Office and the lead investigator of the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800, has died. 

He was 78. 

A 27-year veteran of the FBI, Kallstrom became an electronic eavesdropping expert and investigated mobsters and terrorists. 

In 1995, Kallstrom was appointed to serve as head of the FBI’s New York City office. 

“In Mr. Kallstrom, the F.B.I. Director, Louis J. Freeh, chose one of the bureau’s most respected technical wizards, a man whose surveillance techniques played a critical role in the arrests of every major organized crime leader and terrorist in New York in the last 20 years,” The New York Times wrote in 1995. 

“Jim Kallstrom is superbly engineered to lead the New York office of the F.B.I.,” Mr. Freeh said at the time.

Following the TWA Flight 800 crash, which killed all 230 people on board, Kallstrom led the 16-month investigation, which revealed that a spark in the fuel tank caused the plane to explode. 

Kallstrom later co-founded the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which assists children who lose a parent in the line of duty. 

A Worcester, Mass., native, Kallstrom graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1966 before joining the Marines and serving in Vietnam.

Jim Norman, Lead FBI Agent in Oklahoma City Bombing Investigation, Dies

Former FBI agent Jim Norman. Screenshot via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Jim Norman, the FBI case agent who helped lead the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, died from a heart attack last week. 

Norman retired from the bureau in 2016 after more than 30 years of service and later joined the Tulsa County Cold Case Task Force in Oklahoma. 

“Jim Norman brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to our Cold Case Task Force,” the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said in a social media post. “He will be missed by all of us here, as well as by his family and friends.”

Members of the task force recalled Norman’s hard work and attention to detail. 

“He brought such an air of knowledge and confidence, and he had a great sense of humor, and you could count on him for that,” task force member Mike Huff told News9.

A memorial service is scheduled for July 8 in California. 

“We’re going to miss him on the job, and we’re going to miss him in our lives,” task force member Doc Shannon said. 

On the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, Norman described his experience and said he’d never forget that fateful day. 

“Five years after the bombing, I brought my wife and children to the dedication ceremony of the memorial. We could have gone in with (President) Clinton, but we chose to go in with the victims and I wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact that hit me when we walked in there and I saw the people who had lost kids, putting stuffed animals and flowers on the little seats,” Norman said in an interview posted on the FBI’s website. 

“There’s big seats for adults and little seats for the kids. And when they went in there and put the stuffed animals and the flowers on the little seats, I couldn’t talk. I said I can’t talk and I just walked on the hill for a few minutes until I kind of composed myself. It was so sad what happened with those kids.”

FBI Agents Alfin, Schwartzenberger Remembered at Solemn Memorial Services

FBI Special Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger

By Steve Neavling

Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger, the two FBI agents who killed while serving a search warrant at a home in Florida last week, were honored at separate memorial services over the weekend.

The solemn services, which included a bagpipe serenade, a 21-gun salute, a police helicopter flyover, and remarks from the FBI’s top officials, were held at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. 

The agents were remembered as heroes who were dedicated to protecting children from sexual predators. 

Schwartzenberger, 43, a wife and mother to two children, was honored Saturday. 

“She was brave in pursuit of criminals seeking to harm the most innocent and vulnerable among us, no matter how dangerous. And she relied on her heart and compassion in smaller moments, when it was needed the most,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. 

Read Wray’s full comments here.

Schwartzenberger joined the bureau’s Albuquerque Field Office in 2005 and was transferred to Miami in 2010. She tracked suspects accused of exploiting children online. She had a husband and two children. 

Alfie, a husband and father to one child, was remembered at a service Sunday. 

“Dan’s legacy is one of passion, dedication, and principle,” Wray said. “It’s what you imagine when you think of a proud FBI agent who will do anything to catch the bad guy, and a devoted father who would do anything for his family.”

Read Wray’s full comments here.

Alfin, a New York native, was first assigned to the FBI’s Albany Field Office office in 2009. Over the past six years, he investigated crimes against children. He had a wife and child.  

Wray added, “On Tuesday, we lost not one of our own, but two. Two warriors who took on one of the hardest jobs in the FBI, crimes against children. Two best friends who shared the same passion, the same determination, and—in spite of all they had witnessed in their extraordinary careers—the same sense of optimism and hope that comes from work that matters. Two of the very best the FBI had to offer.”

Three other FBI agents were shot outside the Sunrise, Fla., apartment of David Lee Huber, a 55-year-old systems engineer who was suspected of possessing child pornography. 

Two of the agents were hospitalized and later released, and the third agent was not taken to the hospital. 

The shooting was one of the deadliest in FBI history. 

TSA Officer Dies from COVID-19, Ninth Employee Killed by Coronavirus

TSA employee Eduard Faktorvich. Photo via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

The coronavirus claimed the life of a TSA officer at Denver International Airport.

Eduard Faktorvich, who joined the TSA in Denver in April 2018, worked exclusively at the security checkpoint. He died Monday, the TSA announced Tuesday. 

“His colleagues remember him as a kind and respectful person, who always had a smile on his face,” the TSA said in a statement. “Although Eduard was with TSA for only two and half years, the entire team at DEN is saddened by the loss of one their own.”  

Faktorvich is the ninth TSA employee to die from COVID-19. Another 2,885 TSA employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“His death is a reminder to all of us at TSA of the ongoing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the TSA said. “We remain committed to continuing to take every precaution to help protect our workforce as well as airline travelers.”