ELKINS, W.Va. -- A federal marshal was shot and killed while trying to serve a warrant in Elkins Wednesday morning. Two other marshals were also shot, and the gunman was then killed by law enforcement.
The U.S. Marshals Service identified the marshal who was killed as Derek Hotsinpiller, 24, of Bridgeport. He had been with the marshals for a little more than a year, serving in the Clarksburg office since his graduation from the U.S. Marshals Academy.
According to Hotsinpiller's Facebook page, he was a 2005 graduate of Bridgeport High School and he studied sociology at Fairmont State University.
Hotsinpiller comes from a line of law enforcement officers. His brother, Dustin, works for the Bridgeport Police Department. His late father, Jim, was also a Bridgeport police officer.
The marshals and State Police troopers were at the home of Charles Edward Smith at 319 Central St. in Elkins at about 8:30 a.m. to serve a warrant on him for failing to appear in court on possession of drugs and firearms charges.
After announcing that they were there to serve a warrant, officers breached the door and stepped into the house.
Smith, 50, then opened fire with a shotgun, hitting one marshal in the neck, one in his bulletproof vest and one in the arm or hand, according to sources.
A marshal and trooper then fired at Smith, killing him, according to Sgt. Michael Baylous of the State Police.
Sources familiar with the investigation say that Trooper Gregory Stalnaker, a trooper since 1994, fired the shot that killed Smith and prevented him from firing again.
The marshal shot through the neck was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. It is not clear if he is the one who died.
A statement from the U.S. Marshal's office confirmed that three marshals were shot and that two were taken to a local hospital for treatment and one was transported by helicopter.
The condition of the other two deputies was not known Wednesday evening, but State Police said their injuries are "nonlife-threatening." Their identities are not being released at this time.
State Police Superintendent Col. T.S. Pack said the "senseless" killing of a U.S. Marshal "weighs heavy upon the heart of the West Virginia State Police family. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family, friends and co-workers."
No deputy marshal has been killed by gunfire since the Ruby Ridge, Idaho, standoff in 1992.
A quiet place
Neighbors said the Central Street area is normally a quiet place, and they were shocked by the influx of police that descended on the area.
Angela Wilson, assistant principal at nearby Elkins Middle school, walked a couple of students home from the school Wednesday afternoon, through the alley adjacent to the city block that police cordoned off after the shootings.
"I don't normally do this," she said. "I just want to make sure everybody's safe."
One of the students from the middle school, Nick Harris, said school was abuzz with news of the shooting.
"The teachers were all talking about it," he said. "We don't ever make national news."