Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

You Can Help: Foundation sets up fund to help family of slain U.S. marshal.

Frank Hodge of the Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation spoke at a press conference in Harrisburg city hall today, announcing an effort to help the family of slain U.S. Deputy Marshal Christopher Hill.

Just one day after a deputy U.S. marshal was killed while serving an arrest warrant in Harrisburg, a national foundation has pledged help pay the mortgage on his family home.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a Staten Island, N.Y.-based organization that supports the families of slain first responders, announced today that it would contribute $100,000 to the family of Christopher Hill, the deputy marshal who was shot in the line of duty yesterday. Hill is survived by a wife and two children.

“Our duty as Americans is to take care of the families of first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice,” Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the Siller Foundation, said in the MLK Government Center in Harrisburg today. “Hill’s family will never have to worry about their home again.”

Siller also spoke of his own brother, Stephen Siller, a Brooklyn firefighter who died while responding to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Representatives from the Siller Foundation are also calling for community donations to pay the remaining value of the mortgage. John Hodge, the foundation’s chief operating officer, said that they would need “at least double” the initial $100,000 contribution to pay off the Hill home entirely.

Hill was one of the seven members of a special operations task force that went to serve an arrest warrant on Mulberry Street yesterday morning. The mission ended in gunfire after Kevin Sturgis, a Philadelphia man who was not the subject of the warrant, opened fire on the officers, killing Hill and severely injuring another officer.

Siller said that he and his sister, Mary Siller Scullin, learned about the Harrisburg shooting while watching the news in their Staten Island office on Thursday. They immediately reached out to local law enforcement agencies with an offer to support Hill’s family, Siller said.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse lamented the fact that Harrisburg “made the news for all the wrong reasons” yesterday, but praised residents for showing compassion in a time of tragedy. He also thanked first responders and their families.

“I don’t think we can overstate the degree to which first responders put their lives on the line,” Papenfuse said. “Yesterday, three were shot and one died while protecting the people of Harrisburg.”

In addition to shooting and killing Hill, Sturgis also struck Kyle Pitts, a York County police officer. Pitts underwent surgery yesterday and is expected to survive his injuries, law enforcement officials said. Papenfuse also confirmed that a ricocheting bullet hit a Harrisburg police officer. That officer was protected by his body armor and was released from the hospital yesterday.

The mayor also thanked the families of first responders.

“The sacrifice these families make is pivotal to having a strong public safety department,” he said, before echoing the call for public donations to Hill’s widow and children.

Community members who wish to donate to Hill’s family can visit or call 844-BRAVEST toll free. Hodge said that the foundation will make another public announcement in Harrisburg when they reach their fundraising goal.

Siller pledged that any donation made in Hill’s honor will be given to his family. If the foundation collects more than the value of the family’s mortgage, any excess funds will go to the family to pay for home repairs or other needs.

Continue Reading