Washington, DC - Federal Bureau of Investigation Supervisory Special Agent in Charge Brian Crews died in the line of duty on June 10, when he succumbed to cancer that developed following his service at the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
SAC Crews, a 27-year veteran of the bureau, began his career with the agency in 1988 as a file clerk, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a tribute.
He became a special agent in 1994, and his first investigation turned out to be the Oklahoma City bombing, Director Wray said.
His second investigation took place in Sacramento, California, after the Unabomber claimed his second victim.
“Talk about baptism by fire,” the director noted.
Over the course of his storied career, SAC Crews, 53, dealt with serial killers, investigated at least one plane crash, delved into Russian organized crime scenes, and was a member of the Enron Task Force.
“Through all of this, Brian did what he set out to do: he made a positive difference,” Director Wray said. “The moment FBI agents take the oath and receive their badge, their life is no longer their own. In the end, it belongs to others, and is offered in service to others.”
Coworkers described him as an investigator who “preferred to do his work quietly, in the background,” and said he was the “quintessential FBI agent,” who was particularly talented at effective interview and interrogation, according to the director.
His fellow officers said he also made coffee for everyone in the office each morning, even though he didn’t drink coffee himself.
“I just wanted everyone to have a hot cup of coffee when they came to work,” SAC Crews said of the kind gesture, according to the director.
In addition, SAC Crews took it upon himself to mentor those interested in becoming agents, and helped a group of intelligence analysts by running them through mock fitness tests.
“He also loved to teach, and served as a member of the Bureau’s adjunct faculty program, instructing our agents on a variety of topics,” Director Wray noted.
Following the Sep. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, SAC Crews “served a tour” at the World Trade Center Fresh Kills site, the FBI said in a press release. During the ensuing weeks he spent there, he was exposed to “many contaminants while processing evidence,” the agency said.
As a result, SAC Crews later developed lung cancer, which ultimately spread to his brain, Director Wray explained. He retired from the bureau in 2015.
“Yet many of Brian’s former colleagues didn’t even know he was sick. One said that Brian never complained, ‘because he didn’t want people to worry about him.’ As always, Brian was thinking of others first,” the director said.
Director Wray said he met with SAC Crews in the weeks prior to his death, and that the special agent was quick to tell him all about the “inspiring people” he was thankful to have met and worked with during the course of his career.
“To me, that’s the mark of a great leader, a good friend, and a life well-lived,” Director Wray said. “Someone who thinks of others first, and who is quick to share credit.”
SAC Crews leaves behind his wife, Robin, and their children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Federal Bureau of Investigation Supervisory Special Agent in Charge Brian Crews, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.