Officials announced the identity of the man believed to have fatally shot a U.S. marshal and wounded a York City police officer early Thursday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The U.S. attorney’s office said Kevin Sturgis, 31, of Philadelphia, shot at law enforcement who arrived at the house to arrest a woman. Sturgis was wanted by authorities for not appearing for a gun charge sentencing and not appearing for a probation violation hearing, they said. He was also reportedly found guilty of rape as a minor, according to the York Daily Record.
A Harrisburg police officer was also struck during the incident, but he was not wounded due to protective body armor, authorities said in a news conference. His name was not released.
Christopher D. Hill, 45, an Army veteran who was part of the U.S. Marshals Service for 11 years, was killed after being shot while serving a warrant at the Harrisburg house around 6:10 a.m., the agency said. Members of the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force were serving an arrest warrant to Shayla Lynette Towles Pierce, who was wanted for allegedly making terroristic threats, U.S. Attorney David Freed said.
While Pierce was being handcuffed, a man who was in the house fired his gun, striking Hill and York City Police Officer Kyle Pitts, officials said. Hill was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead about 20 minutes later.
The shooting suspect fled through the front of the home while he continued to fire at law enforcement, officials said. He was killed by return fire during the incident.
“[Hill] was a devoted public servant who dedicated his life to making his community and this nation safer. We will never forget his commitment and courage,” David J. Anderson, Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Marshals Service, said. “The nation lost a hero today.”
Hill served in Afghanistan from 1993 to 1996. He joined the U.S. marshals in 2006 in Washington D.C., and transferred to Harrisburg in 2008. He was also part of the agency’s Special Operations Group. He’s survived by his wife and two children.
United States Marshal Martin Pane, who appeared emotional while speaking at the afternoon news conference, said Hill “made the ultimate sacrifice.”
“Deputy Hill served the American people and the citizens of this community with courage,” Pane said. “He will be missed and words cannot say how much.”
Pitts, a fugitive task force member and a 10-year veteran of the York City police department, was taken to the hospital for injuries and is expected to survive, officials said.
Mayor Eric Papenfuse said in an earlier statement: “Harrisburg mourns the loss this morning of a U.S. marshal who died protecting our residents.”
The mayor added a Harrisburg officer “bravely returned fire and critically injured the gunman,” who ultimately died. The mayor had initially said the Harrisburg officer was wounded, but authorities said Thursday afternoon that he was struck, but not injured.
“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 added. “I extend my sincerest condolences to the family of the slain U.S. marshal, to his colleagues and to all law enforcement officers who risk their lives each day to protect and to serve our city and our nation.”
The shooting occurred at a home less than two miles from the State Capitol, in a working-class neighborhood of duplexes, single-family homes and commercial buildings.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said he was “saddened to hear this tragic news.”
“Praying for the officers involved and their families. I am in constant contact with law enforcement, and grateful for their swift action,” he added.
Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Lou Barletta tweeted: “Please pray for the police officers injured in Harrisburg this morning. Our police are tough and put their lives on the line everyday to keep communities safe. I am praying for a speedy recovery!”
Just before Christmas, a gunman identified as Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty was shot and killed by police after firing at them near the location of Monday’s encounter, according to PennLive. El-Mofty wounded a state trooper and shot another officer near the Capitol.
Fox News’ Michelle Chavez, Shira Bush and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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