FBI agent killed serving warrant near Pittsburgh

By: AP
By: AP

GLENSHAW, Pa. (AP) -- A former police officer who had been an FBI agent for less than two years was fatally shot Wednesday as he served a warrant at the home of an alleged cocaine dealer near Pittsburgh.

Agent Samuel Hicks was shot about 6 a.m. in the middle-class community of Indiana Township. He was taking part in a drug-ring roundup at the home of Robert Korbe, who was taken into custody on the drug charges.

Korbe told reporters as he was being led into a police car that "they shot their own guy."

FBI agent William Crowley, an agency spokesman, said, "Based on the information we have right now, every indication is that no shot was fired by law enforcement at the crime scene."

Hicks, 33, had been with the FBI since March 2007. He was a former Baltimore police officer and school teacher with a wife and 3-year-old son.

"Special Agent Hicks made the ultimate sacrifice that any law enforcement officer makes for his country," Michael Rodriguez, agent in charge of the Pittsburgh FBI office, said in a statement read to reporters.

"He served with honor and bravery and will be greatly missed by his colleagues here in Pittsburgh and throughout the FBI," he said.

Korbe was expected to appear in federal court later Wednesday. He was one of 35 people charged in a 27-count drug-trafficking indictment unsealed Wednesday. The indictment accuses the defendants of conspiring to traffic cocaine and crack from October 2007 through September.

In Pittsburgh, court-appointed attorneys were on hand at the federal courthouse as those who were rounded up made their initial court appearances.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said: "The loss of Sam Hicks is a tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to Sam's family and the members of the Pittsburgh field office."

The last FBI special agent killed in the line of duty was Barry Lee Bush, who was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow agent outside a bank on April 5, 2007, in Readington, N.J., according to the FBI.

Bush, 52, of Forks Township, Pa., and other agents were in pursuit of three bank robbers who were armed but did not fire their weapons, authorities said.

Associated Press writer Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.

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