Deputy US Marshal killed by friendly fire during January shootout

Deputy U.S. Marshal Chris Hill who was fatally shot in a shootout at a Harrisburg home in January was killed by friendly fire, according to DA Fran Chardo.

A statement released by the District Attorney says Deputy Marshal Hill was struck by the bullet of a task force member who was defending himself against the gunfire coming from a suspect inside the home .

Officers were at the Mulberry Street home just after 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 18 with the intention of serving an arrest warrant on Shayla Pierce.

She was wanted by Harrisburg Police on charges of possession of an illegal weapon, simple assault and terroristic threats .

After police arrested Pierce at her home, they encountered Kevin Sturgis, a man who was wanted in relation to the shooting of a pregnant woman in Philadelphia.

A shootout ensued where Deputy US Marshal Hill and two other officers were shot.

According to DA Chardo, task force members were working to secure the first floor after taking Pierce into custody.

SEE ALSO: "Something definitely went wrong" with warrant for Shayla Pierce, attorney says

Kevin Sturgis reportedly yelled from the top of the stairs "Are you looking for me?" the DA explained in a statement.

Sturgis then opened fire on task force members from the floor above, striking one member in the elbow.

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Another task force member then returned fire in self-defense. -- One of those bullets passed through a wall and struck Deputy Marshal Hill.

Task members inside the house then retreated through a rear door, while Sturgis exited the front door and continued to fire, hitting another task force member in the ballistic vest, according to DA Chardo.

Sturgis was ultimately shot and killed.

The U.S. Marshal's Service issued the following statement on the discovery:

“On January 18, Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher Hill died in the line of duty in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, while executing an arrest warrant on a female defendant who was wanted by the Harrisburg Bureau of Police for terroristic threat offenses. While executing the warrant, Deputy Hill and his arrest team were fired upon by another subject in the house – a male, convicted felon who was wanted for attempted murder of his pregnant girlfriend. During this tragic incident, Deputy Hill was struck by a round that passed through a wall in the residence. Initial indications suggested that one of the shots fired by the assailant had struck and killed Deputy Hill. Today, the preliminary FBI forensics and ballistics review indicates that the round which struck Deputy Hill was fired by a fellow law enforcement officer who was engaged in a gun battle with the assailant. Deputy Hill made the ultimate sacrifice while executing a lawful arrest warrant on a female suspect wanted for terroristic threats. That fact remains. He died a hero while protecting his community from dangerous criminals like the female defendant and the male assailant who opened fire on his team. Those facts remain unchanged too. The results of the FBI’s review do not diminish the heroic acts of Deputy Hill or his team. A convicted felon opened fire on law enforcement officers and ultimately led to Deputy Hill’s unfortunate and untimely death. Those are the facts. USMS intends to conduct a thorough review of the official FBI report when it’s received and determine whether there are any lessons to be learned which we may be appropriate to re-emphasize in training.”

RELATED CONTENT: HONORING A HERO | Deputy U.S. Marshal Chris Hill's procession

According to DA Chardo, task force members were justified in their use of deadly to force against Sturgis.

Shayla Pierce remains in custody on the terroristic threats charge, as well as, a federal detainer.


CBS21 Investigates | Questions remain about line of duty death of Deputy US Marshal

The CBS21 News team has been looking into her background and how the execution of an arrest warrant ended in the death of a Deputy US Marshal. Pierce had several criminal charges filed against her in the past two years, but the most recent charges were filed last November. And when she appeared in court in December, according to court papers, those November charges were never addressed. Read more here.

Deputy US Marshal killed by friendly fire during January shootout

Could the shooting of Deputy US Marshal Christopher Hill have been avoided? Did law enforcement even need to be at Shayla Pierce's house? New evidence suggests that law enforcement never should have been sent to Pierce's Allison Hill home in the first place. Read more here.

"Something definitely went wrong" with warrant for Shayla Pierce, attorney says

For the first time since Deputy US Marshal Christopher Hill was shot and killed, the woman law enforcement was serving a warrant for that day appeared in court. Shayla Pierce faces terroristic threats, simple assault and weapons charges for an incident that dates back to November. A judge ruled there is enough evidence to send Pierce to trial for allegedly pointing a gun at another woman and threatening to shoot her. She is in Dauphin County Jail on $200,000 bail, an amount her lawyer says is unfair. Read more here.

Defense alleges Shayla Pierce being "railroaded," DA says it's "preposterous"

Shayla Pierce's attorney says that the Commonwealth is using these charges from last year to make her pay for the death of Deputy US Marshal Christopher Hill -- An allegation Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo calls "preposterous." Read more here.

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