HARRISBURG — A deputy U.S. marshal shot and killed in Harrisburg in January was struck by a bullet fired by a task force member, Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo said Thursday.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher Hill was fatally shot Jan. 18 while serving an arrest warrant with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. At the time, The Associated Press and other news outlets reported it was a bullet fired by Sturgis that killed the 45-year-old Hill. The U.S. Marshals Service says ballistics and forensics contradict those initial indications.
The task force went to the home in the 1800 block of Mulberry Street to arrest 30-year-old Shayla Pierce for terroristic threats and related charges. After Pierce was handcuffed, a man in her home, 31-year-old Kevin Sturgis yelled, “are you looking for me?” from the top of the stairs, Chardo said.
Sturgis then fired on task force members as he descended the stairs. His first shot struck a task force member in the elbow. Another task force member returned fire toward Sturgis, and one of the bullets fired in self-protection passed through a wall and struck Hill, Chardo said in a news release.
Task force members retreated from the home then shot and killed Sturgis when he exited the house and continued to fire on deputies, striking one of them in a ballistic vest.
Chardo said officers were justified in their use of deadly force on Sturgis, who was wanted in connection with the shooting of a pregnant woman in Philadelphia.
“Based upon all of these circumstances, Sturgis is responsible for both his own death and the death of Deputy United States Marshal Christopher Hill,” Chardo wrote in the news release. “Sturgis maliciously and unnecessarily set in motion the exchange of gunfire that led to both deaths.”
“The investigation revealed that all the task force members performed very well under extremely stressful circumstances,” he said. “Deputy Marshal Hill died a hero. And the results of this investigation do not in any way diminish the heroism exhibited by the other members of the team on that day.”
Hill was an 11-year-veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service. He is survived by his wife and two children.