Fall Killed Two FBI Agents in Virginia, Medical Examiner Rules

Agents had been practicing how to quickly drop from a helicopter to a ship using ropes when they fell

Thursday, May 30, 2013  |  Updated 9:29 AM EDT
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The Virginia medical examiner's office says two FBI agents killed in a fall while training off the Virginia Beach coast died from blunt force trauma.

The medical examiner's office released its findings Wednesday, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

The FBI has said Special Agents Christopher W. Lorek and Stephen P. Shaw fell to their deaths on May 17 when a helicopter ran into trouble during a "maritime counterterrorism exercise."

Both were members of the bureau's elite hostage rescue team. The team is trained in military tactics and outfitted with combat-style gear and weapons.

The FBI said in a statement that the agents had been practicing how to quickly drop from a helicopter to a ship using ropes when the chopper "encountered unspecified difficulties," reported the Virginian-Pilot.

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