Deputy US marshal killed while serving Pennsylvania warrant

This undated photo provided by the Dauphin County Judicial Center in Harrisburg, Pa., shows Shayla Pierce, arrested Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Law enforcement officers serving an arrest warrant were handcuffing Pierce on the first floor of a home Thursday when a man began firing from the second floor, killing Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher David Hill and injuring a police officer, authorities said, before the gunman was shot to death by police when he exited the home. The U.S. attorney's office identified the shooter as Kevin Sturgis, of Philadelphia, but did not say what the relationship was between Pierce and the gunman. (Dauphin County Judicial Center via AP)
Crime tape stretches across a road near the scene of a shooting Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, in Harrisburg, Pa. The mayor of Harrisburg said a U.S. marshal is dead after being shot while serving an arrest warrant in the city. Mayor Eric Papenfuse said two other officers were wounded in the Thursday morning shooting. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A gunman opened fire on law enforcement officers serving an arrest warrant inside a home before dawn Thursday, killing a deputy U.S. marshal before he was shot to death by police as he fled outside, authorities said.

Police were on the first floor handcuffing the woman they were seeking to arrest when 31-year-old Kevin Sturgis, of Philadelphia, began firing from the second floor, said U.S. Attorney Dave Freed. Sturgis was fatally shot as he later ran out the front door, again shooting at police, Freed said.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher David Hill, 45, an Army veteran who has been with the service more than a decade, died from his injuries. Another member of the fugitive task force, York City Police Officer Kyle Pitts, also was hit by gunfire, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Freed said there are indications a third officer may have been struck in his body armor but was not wounded.

"None of us has sufficient words to express our grief and sorrow," Freed said.

Officials said a team of about seven showed up at the home of Shayla Lynette Towles Pierce, 30, around 6 a.m. to arrest her on a charge of making a terroristic threat with a weapon. They did not say what the relationship was between her and Sturgis.

Children also were at home at the time, Freed said. Pierce was jailed on $200,000 bail, and a public defender who had recently represented her in a separate case declined to comment. She did not appear to have a home phone listing.

Sturgis had active warrants in Philadelphia for not showing up to be sentenced on a gun charge and failing to appear at a probation violation hearing.

Hill and Pitts were removed from the back of the house during the confrontation after being shot.

Hill died at a hospital. Authorities said Pitts, a 10-year police veteran, required surgery but they did not further describe his injuries.

Freed, the federal prosecutor, said investigators are working to piece together the chaotic sequence of events.

Hill, who is survived by a wife and two children, served with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan before being hired by the marshal service in 2006.

U.S. Marshal Martin Pane said Hill belonged to an elite special operations group within the agency and took a lead role in the massive manhunt in the Poconos for fugitive Eric Frein in 2014. Frein was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death for killing a state trooper.

"Chris is just one of those guys that rises to the top," Pane said. "Chris is the cream of the crop. He's one of our best and ... you would probably not find a better tactical operator in the state of Pennsylvania."

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said a city police officer wounded Sturgis during the exchange of gunfire.

"No words can adequately express the sadness we feel at this moment as we contemplate the loss of yet another law enforcement officer in the line of duty," Papenfuse said.

In a statement issued from Washington, Attorney General Jeff Sessions described law enforcement as heartbroken over Hill's death. He said the officer's name should be recalled as a synonym for valor.

"Every day, deputy U.S. marshals make the people of this country safer by catching fugitives on the run, protecting our courthouses, our judges and witnesses at trial," Sessions said. "They achieve these critical accomplishments at often heroic risk."

Gov. Tom Wolf ordered state flags to fly at half-staff in Hill's honor until his interment.

The shooting occurred less than 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the state Capitol in a working class neighborhood of duplexes, single-family homes and commercial buildings.

In late December, in an unrelated shooting near the scene of Hill's murder, an Egyptian immigrant who had wound a state trooper and shot at another officer was killed by police. He was believed to have acted alone.

___

Associated Press writer Marc Levy contributed to this report.

People also read these

Police: Woman killed by Florida officer in...

Aug 10, 2016

A police "shoot/ don't shoot" demonstration went shockingly awry when an officer shot and killed a...

Source: Boy was decapitated on waterslide at...

Aug 11, 2016

The 10-year-old boy killed during a ride on the world's tallest waterslide was decapitated, a...

Colbert to air live after Trump-Clinton...

Aug 10, 2016

Stephen Colbert, who capitalized on the political conventions with live broadcasts, will do the...

Missing weapons among police calls involving...

Aug 10, 2016

A man charged with killing two Georgia teenagers was identified as the suspect in the theft of a...

Outburst of shooting stars up to 200 mph -...

Aug 10, 2016

Get set for an outburst of shooting stars that could peak at up to 200 meteors per hour

About Us

The World Insiders brings you exclusive coverage from across the globe in a timely, easy to consume format sourced directly from our regional media partners.

Contact us: sales[at]theworldinsiders.com

Subscribe Now!