Friday, January 19, 2018

Suspect identified in fatal Pennsylvania shooting of US marshal, authorities say

January 19, 2018 by  
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Kevin Sturgis, 31, was identified as the man authorities said was involved in the U.S. marshal shooting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Thursday, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

 (Justice Department)

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.

A U.S. Marshal was killed and at least two officers were struck Thursday morning.

 (WHP)

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.

Shayla Lynette Towles Pierce, seen in this photo, was being handcuffed by authorities when the shooting began.

 (Dauphin County Judicial Center via AP)

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.”

Law enforcement personnel are seen standing near the scene of a shooting in Harrisburg, Penn., on Thursday.

 (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

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.” 

Crime tape stretches across a road near the scene of the deadly Harrisburg shooting.

 (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

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.”

Video

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.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

California AG: ‘We will prosecute’ employers who violate sanctuary laws

January 19, 2018 by  
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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra discusses reports that wide-spread federal immigration raids may be planned soon in Northern California, at a news conference Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. Becerra warned employers that they must comply with a new California law that limits their cooperation with immigration officials. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

 (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned employers Thursday of legal repercussions if they assist federal immigration officials in an impending crackdown in the sanctuary state, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Under a new state law – the Immigration Worker Protection Act – employers and businesses could face fines of up to $10,000 if they provide employee information to U.S. Immigration Customs, Becerra said.

If employers “start giving up information about their employees or access to their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office. We will prosecute those who violate the law,” he said at a news conference.  

The law prevents workers of any immigration status from being detained at workplaces. Among other stipulations, federal officials must obtain a warrant before searching a worksite and employers are required to notify their workers before a federal audit of employee records.

Becerra said the Department of Justice and the Labor Commission’s office – which hold exclusive authority over enforcement – will give “guidance” to public and private employers on their responsibilities under the new law.

The warning comes amid rumors of mass sweeps that will target illegal immigrants in Northern California. Under California’s sanctuary laws, local police are restricted from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Upon hearing the rumors, local jurisdictions in Northern California said they hadn’t been notified by federal officials of any impending raids.

ICE’s acting director, Thomas Homan told Fox News earlier this month, “If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will.”