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Sheriff Says Woman Accidentally Shot Deputy

Sheriff Tim Helder shares the latest on a deadly shooting investigation.
Washington County deputies served three search warrants Thursday in the investigation of a deadly shooting.

Deputies responded to a domestic call with shots fired Wednesday night on South Whitehouse Road. According to investigators the caller said her son, 26-year-old Sam Hill, had just shot her husband Allen Hill in the chest. He later died from those injuries.

"At about 9:30 last night we received a 911 call, a lady calling that her husband had been shot by her son," says Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder.

But before deputies arrived, dispatchers lost contact with Roberta Hill.

"All we have, the information is that the son forced his way in the home and shot her husband," Helder says. "They basically arrived in stealth mode to assess the scene."

Deputies fanned out, approaching in the dark, and gunfire met them.

"When they saw the muzzle flash, they returned fire," Helder says. "One of our deputies was struck, (Cpl.) Taylor Reed. He was knocked to the ground. During that time, during the brief firefight, one of our sergeants was able to pull him to safety."

The person pulling the trigger was not Sam Hill, but his mother, Roberta, who had just witnessed her husband's murder.

"She thought it was him returning," Helder says. "She was very much afraid, as she should have been... She was very determined that what he did to him wasn't going to happen to her."

Deputies secured the scene, and Roberta was released after questioning.

"We felt comfortable enough that she was telling the truth that we didn't arrest her or file charges last night," Helder says. "We're going to continue our investigation and turn that over to the prosecuting attorney and let him review it."

Investigators now believe Hill started a crime spree at his home on Morningside Drive.

"Mr. Hill battered his wife, severely," Helder says. "She left the residence and went to her parents home outside of West Fork. At some point our suspect leaves and goes to the residence in Whitehouse. We don't know why he went there, but he ended up there, and ended up in this firefight."

The sheriff's office says Hill's father shot him in the hip before being killed. Investigators say Sam Hill then returned to the home on Morningside, where his wife's father confronted him about the domestic abuse.

"The information we have is that the suspect then told him, 'I just got through killing my dad,' you know, 'You better back off,' kind of a conversation."

Fayetteville police responding to a disturbance call arrested Hill without incident, after the sheriff's office sent out a description of the suspect.

Hill was arrested for capital murder, and sent to the hospital for treatment. Corporal Reed is also recovering from his injuries. The Sheriff says he's thankful no one else was hurt.

"According to training, they did everything right," Helder says. "It was just one of those circumstances where they know knew the potential was there that they could be fired upon... That's what our guys do. They put their lives on the line every night and it just so happens last night, that it really, it could have been a lot worse."

For earlier reports on this shooting, click here.
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