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Thousands attend service for slain deputy marshal
Thousands of law-enforcement officials from all over the country filled the Giant Center in Hershey to honor the life of U.S. Deputy Marshal Christopher David Hill, who died in the line of duty last week.
Hill, 45, a York County resident, was fatally shot last week while serving an arrest warrant in Harrisburg.
The service for Hill took place Thursday, Jan. 25.
Memorial: York County District Attorney Dave Sunday attended with two county detectives, who he said worked closely with Hill on the U.S. Marshals Task Force.
“The takeaway for today, for me, was, there were so many people there that spoke about how he affected their lives in such positive ways. ... He was an absolutely amazing person,” Sunday said.
Sunday said the two detectives echoed the remarks made during the service.
"He was a soldier, he was a father, a marshal, and he'll never be forgotten by these guys," he said.
York City Police Sgt. William Wentz, who worked with Hill on occasion, said Hill was a good guy. Hill's friends spoke during the ceremony, he said.
“His friends reflected that, they told stories," Wentz said.
Newberry Township Police Lt. Stephen Lutz, who also attended the service, said the Giant Center had thousands of people in attendance.
"There was officers from all over the nation there," he said. The lieutenant said he saw an officer from Dallas, Texas.
Wentz said he saw someone from Massachusetts.
“It was unbelievable, the turnout," he said.
Lutz said the service was a great memorial for Hill.
“It was a very well put-together memorial of his accomplishments and his service to the community," he said.
Wentz shared similar thoughts. He said the memorial was fitting for Hill.
“I was very impressed — I was actually honored to be there," he said.
He estimated about 50 York City Police officers were in attendance. Also injured in the shooting from last week was York City Police Officer Kyle Pitts. Pitts also attended Thursday's service.
A motorcade preceded the service to honor Hill on Thursday.
Mourners lined the route, and a large American flag was hoisted above a bridge along the way.
Shooting: The deputy marshal was shot the morning of 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.
Hill was with the marshals service for 11 years.
As officers were arresting Shayla Lynette Towles Pierce, 30, Kevin Sturgis, 31, of Philadelphia, fired at the task force from the second floor of the home, officials have said.
Sturgis was wanted in Philadelphia. He was killed by police at the scene.
Also injured during the incident was team member and 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. Harrisburg Police identified Officer Jeffrey Cook, a 27-year veteran of the department, as the officer struck that day. He was struck in the chest, police said.
Hill: Hill joined the U.S. Marshals Service in 2006 in Washington, D.C., and transferred to Harrisburg in 2009, according to Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse's office.
He was an Army veteran who served from 1993 to 1996, according to Papenfuse's office.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Hill is the first officer fatality from a federal agency in 2018.
The nonprofit Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced last week it will donate $100,000 to help pay off the Hills' mortgage. The foundation is now asking people to donate, so the entire mortgage note can be paid off.
Donations may be made at tunnel2towers.org.
Hill's surivors include wife Sylvia Nicole (Lee) Hill, their two children and his father, John David Hill.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.