A eulogy for the GOP

Public memorial set for slain deputy marshal; York City officer still recovering

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
  • Get-well cards for Officer Kyle Pitts can be mailed to or dropped off at the York City Police Dept. The address is 50 W. King St., York PA 17401.

A public memorial service has been announced for Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher David Hill, a York County resident who was fatally shot last week while serving an arrest warrant in Harrisburg.

The service is set for 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Giant Center in Hershey, according to Hill's obituary, which states all are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, Hill's family asks that donations in Hill's name be made to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) online at www.taps.org, or sent to TAPS at 3033 Wilson Blvd., third floor, Arlington VA 22201.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher Hill was fatally shot on Jan. 18, 2018, while serving an arrest warrant at a Harrisburg City home.

TAPS was founded in 1994, in the wake of eight soldiers being killed in a November 1992 plane crash in Alaska. The goal is to support bereaved military families.

In 2016, TAPS connected with more than 4,700 people grieving the death of a loved one who served in the U.S. military, according to the nonprofit organization's website, which states it receives no government funding.

Hill's surivors include wife Sylvia Nicole (Lee) Hill, their two children and his father, John David Hill.

The 45-year-old deputy marshal was fatally shot the morning of Thursday, Jan. 18, as he and fellow members of the U.S. Marshals Service's Fugitive Task Force were serving an arrest warrant at a Harrisburg City home.

Also injured was team member and York City Police Officer Kyle Pitts, who was shot in the right elbow, according to York City Interim Police Chief Troy Bankert.

A bullet struck a Harrisburg City officer, but his ballistic vest stopped it, according to U.S. Attorney David Freed.

More:Deputy marshal, a York County resident, killed in Harrisburg shooting

More:Group to donate $100K toward slain marshal's mortgage

Pitts recovering: Pitts, who is assigned to the task force, remains at a Harrisburg-area hospital in stable condition, according to a news release issued Sunday, Jan. 21, from York City Police.

The 36-year-old has been a York City police officer for a decade, according to York City Police Acting Capt. Matt Leitzel.

Get-well cards for Pitts can be mailed to the York City Police Department, 50 W. King St., York PA 17401. Or simply drop off cards there at the front desk, Leitzel said.

Hill, Pitts and other members of the marshals' fugitive task force went to a Harrisburg City home near the corner of 18th and Mulberry streets Thursday to serve an arrest warrant on Shayla Lynette Towles Pierce, 30, wanted by Harrisburg Police on charges of making terroristic threats, U.S. Attorney David Freed has said.

As she was being arrested, 31-year-old Kevin Sturgis of Philadelphia opened fire on police from the second floor of the home, according to Freed.

Several children between the ages of 9 and 13 were inside the home at the time, he said.

Sturgis, who was adjudicated delinquent of rape as a juvenile, was shot and killed by team members returning fire, Freed said.

Wanted fugitive: At the time, Sturgis was wanted on two warrants in Philadelphia for being a felon in illegal firearm possession and failing to appear for a probation-violation hearing, according to Freed's office.

Hill joined the U.S. Marshals Service in 2006 in Washington D.C., then transferred to Harrisburg in 2009.

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)

He served with the agency's elite special operations unit and also was a firearms instructor, officials have said.

Hill died of his injuries at Harrisburg Hospital, becoming the first officer fatality from a federal agency in 2018, according to the National Law Enforcement Offers Memorial Fund.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.