Authorities say one of three deputy U.S. marshals shot while attempting to serve a warrant in West Virginia has died. The suspect also was killed in the shootout.
U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Jeff Carter said the shooting occurred at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday as deputy U.S. marshals approached a residence in Elkins. He confirmed that one deputy marshal died and that the suspect was fatally shot at the residence where two other deputy U.S. marshals also were wounded.
All three deputy marshals were taken to a hospital by helicopter.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John Kaull in Clarksburg told The Associated Press a search warrant had been issued for the residence of Charles Smith, 50, who was wanted on a 2006 bench warrant on federal drug charges related to distributing cocaine.
"Immediately upon entry into Smith's residence, three Deputy U.S. Marshals were fired upon by a shotgun blast and struck," Carter said in a statement to Fox News.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Smith was involved in the shooting.
Neighbor Mary Everhart said she didn't hear about the shooting until emergency vehicles arrived.
"They might have been raising hell and I didn't know about it," Everhart said. "I didn't hear a shot."
The U.S. Marshals Service later confirmed that one the deputy killed was 24-year-old Derek Hotsinpiller, while another was released from a hospital.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement regarding the incident.
"In fulfilling their critical duties, these courageous deputies put their lives on the line and put the safety of others above their own," Holder said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller, who made the ultimate sacrifice today, and with the two Deputies who were injured in the line of duty."
Sgt. Michael Baylous, a State Police spokesman, said troopers were at the residence helping the marshals execute the warrant.
According to the Washington, D.C.-based National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks police deaths, 24 law enforcement officers have been killed in 13 states so far this year, 14 of them by gunfire.
The U.S. Marshals Service says the last time one of its employees was killed on the job was in January 2010 when a 72-year-old security officer died at the main federal court building in Las Vegas in a shootout with a shotgun-wielding assailant.
The last time a deputy marshal was killed by gunfire came during the 1992 FBI standoff at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
Fox News' Mike Levine and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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