GLENSHAW, Pa. – The wife of an alleged drug dealer was charged Wednesday with killing an FBI agent who showed up at the couple's suburban Pittsburgh house to arrest her husband.
Christina Korbe, 40, was charged with homicide in the Wednesday morning shooting death of Special Agent Sam Hicks, 33. He and other law enforcement officers went to the Korbe home in Indiana Township around 6 a.m. to serve a warrant on Korbe's husband, Robert, as part of a drug sweep.
Allegheny County Police said in a statement announcing the arrest that no other information would be released. The FBI also declined to provide any details of the shooting other than to say that it did not appear law enforcement officers fired any shots.
Christina Korbe was upstairs with her 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son when agents arrived and may have feared for their safety, said her attorney, Sumner Parker.
"It became very chaotic and confusing and based on some other things taking place. ... My client may have taken actions that she thought was appropriate and ultimately called 911 to get local police to her house based on what she thought was happening," Parker told The Associated Press.
Earlier, Parker told reporters outside police headquarters that Korbe may have thought someone was breaking into the home.
Parker said he represents Robert Korbe on state charges.
Korbe was at Allegheny County Police headquarters until Wednesday evening, when she was taken away on a stretcher crying and holding a white blanket over her head. She was put into a waiting ambulance and taken to a hospital because she was feeling ill.
Her husband was one of 35 people charged Wednesday in the 27-count indictment that accuses the defendants of conspiring to traffic cocaine and crack from October 2007 through September. Christina Korbe was not named in the indictment.
Earlier in the day, her husband told reporters as he was being led into a police car, "They shot their own guy."
Special Agent William Crowley, an FBI spokesman, told The Associated Press: "Based on the information we have right now, every indication is that no shot was fired by law enforcement at the crime scene."
Hicks had been with the FBI since March 2007, and was assigned to the Pittsburgh office in August 2007, said Michael Rodriguez, special agent in charge of the office. A former Baltimore police officer and school teacher, Hicks graduated from Southmoreland High School in Alverton and from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown with a degree in chemistry in 1999. He leaves behind a wife, Brooke, and a 3-year-old son.
"Special Agent Hicks made the ultimate sacrifice that any law enforcement officer makes for his country," Rodriguez 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."
A woman who answered the phone at Hicks' home in Gibsonia said Brooke Hicks was not taking calls.
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."
On Wednesday afternoon, Robert Korbe had a brief appearance in federal court on the drug charges. He was represented by a public defender, but told the judge that he intended to hire his own attorney.
The judge scheduled a detention hearing Monday for him at the request of the federal prosecutor. In the meantime, he was to be held at the Allegheny County Jail.
Robert Korbe, 39, has a record of drug arrests dating at least to the early 1990s. In May, he was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and drug counts, according to online court documents.
The Korbes' four-bedroom, cream-colored house backs up to fields and woods in a leafy, middle-class Pittsburgh suburb. A child's basketball net and play fort could be seen in the backyard.
Korbe's parents live about a half mile away, and on the front door, a small magnetic red, white and blue flag sticker read "Honor America's fallen officers."
Robert Korbe's mother, Antoinette, said her son and daughter-in-law sold drugs, and that she hadn't seen her son in three years.
Robert Korbe is the owner of Deluxe Car Care and D&J Variety Store in Sharpsburg. Federal agents were seen going in and out of the business Wednesday afternoon.
Emergency dispatchers had initially said the victim was a police officer shot in a home invasion, an incorrect report likely fed by Christina Korbe's call to 911.