FBI report: Friendly fire killed U.S. Deputy Marshal Christopher Hill

Written by Brett Sholtis | Mar 2, 2018 7:23 AM



Family, friends and law enforcement colleagues of slain Deputy US Marshal Christopher Hill, as well as members of the community, pay tribute to the hero during memorial services Thursday, January 25, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals)

(Harrisburg) -- The FBI says it was friendly fire that killed U.S. Deputy Marshal Christopher Hill while he and eight others were serving a warrant in Harrisburg.

The bullet came from another officer, who was returning fire at convicted felon Kevin Sturgis.

In the days after Sturgis opened fire at a nine-member Marshals team serving a warrant in Allison Hill on January 18th, police thought it was Sturgis who killed Deputy Marshal Christopher Hill.

Now, FBI forensic experts say it was another law enforcement officer's bullet that went through a wall and struck the York County man under his protective vest.

Of the nine-member team taking part in the operation York Officer Kyle Pitts was wounded and Harrisburg Officer Jeff Cook was hit in his ballistic vest, but not injured.


Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher D. Hill, 45, of Conewago Township, was killed in the line of duty while serving a warrant Jan. 18 in Harrisburg. (Photo: Submitted)


The Marshal Service fugitive task force was taking the target of the warrant, Shayla Pierce, into custody, when Sturgis opened fire. During the arrest, he yelled down from the second floor "are you looking for me?" officials said. 

Sturgis was then shot and killed by other members of the team.

U.S. Marshals spokeswoman Michelle Coghill says Sturgis -- who also died from gunshot wounds -- is the one to blame for the tragedy. 

"A convicted felon opened fire on law enforcement officers and unfortunately led to Deputy Hill's unfortunate and untimely death. Those are the facts," she says. "This is a very tight-knit family in the U.S. Marshals' Service. For us, we know Deputy Hill made the ultimate sacrifice while he executed that law enforcement warrant on the female suspect, and for us he died a hero."

Coghill says Sturgis was wanted for attempted murder of his pregnant girlfriend.

The Marshals' Service plans to conduct a review of the FBI's report to see what lessons it may learn for serving warrants in the future.

Hill, a husband, father and Army veteran, was honored at a public memorial service at the Giant Center in Hershey, attended by law enforcement officers from across the country.

*The York Daily Record contributed to this report*


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