- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BALTIMORE | Mourners Tuesday remembered an FBI agent fatally shot in a drug raid last week near Pittsburgh as a superhero and family man.

Agents and police from surrounding states filled the 1,500-person Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, the city where Special Agent Sam Hicks was a police officer for five years before he joined the FBI.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in the overflowing church that he didn’t know Mr. Hicks but caught a glimpse of his character in conversations with his family and colleagues.

“Sam was something of a superhero,” Mr. Mueller said. “He was full of strength and energy.”

Mr. Hicks, 33, who started with the FBI in 2007, picked up the necessary skills so fast when he was assigned to the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Force that new members thought he was a veteran, Mr. Mueller said.

“To Sam, it was not about building a resume or about getting recognition,” Mr. Mueller said. “He was motivated not by personal success, but by public service.”

Police say Mr. Hicks was shot in the chest, just above his bulletproof vest, by Christina Korbe, as Mr. Hicks and other officers raided her home in Indiana Township, Pa., on Nov. 19. Agents were at the house to arrest Mrs. Korbe’s husband, Robert, one of 35 people targeted in a suburban drug sweep.

Mrs. Korbe, who told police she thought she was firing at a home invader, was charged with criminal homicide. Agents said they identified themselves before forcing their way into the home.

Mr. Hicks knew the risks of his job, Mr. Mueller said, but his death is a reminder that there is always a possibility that those in law enforcement won’t come home to their families. As much as Mr. Hicks loved his job, he was equally devoted to his family: wife, Brooke, 28, and their 2-year-old son, Noah.

“He went to the front lines every day, but he wanted Noah to grow up to be a scientist, or a golfer - something that would not place him in danger,” Mr. Mueller said.

Mr. Mueller presented Mrs. Hicks with an FBI Memorial Star, which is given to survivors of agents who die in the line of duty. He told her that she and her son would always be part of the agency’s family.

“Sam was first and foremost a proud member of the Hicks family,” U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said in his remarks.

Mr. Mukasey said Mr. Hicks’ name would be added to the Hall of Honor with the names of 51 other fallen agents and to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

“He stood strong,” Mr. Mukasey said. “His devotion to serving the public and to protecting this nation will be his legacy, and ours to share.”

After a procession of hundreds of police cruisers, motorcycles and other vehicles, Mr. Hicks was buried at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium with a presentation of flags to his family.

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