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Teen Killed by Frederick Sheriff's Deputies Serving Howard County Warrant

Deputies were serving a warrant related to a Jan. 8 home invasion in Mt. Airy, in western Howard County.

Frederick County sheriff's deputies shot and killed 19-year-old Daniel Vail on Thursday morning while serving a warrant related to a Howard County home invasion in Mt. Airy, according to a police account.

The deputies were assisting Howard County Police who had issued a warrant for Vail, of Mt. Airy, who was suspected to be involved with a Jan. 8 home invasion in Mt. Airy.

The Jan. 8 home invasion, which occurred in the Howard County portion of Mt. Airy, involved three masked men, armed with a baseball bat and a shotgun, who demanded money from two male victims at a residence near the 600 block of Long Corner Road, according to Howard County police. No one was injured during the home invasion, but police believe the incident may be drug related, although they would not elaborate on Thursday.

Frederick County deputies were asked to assist in serving the search warrant because Vail lived in the Fredrick County portion of Mt. Airy.

Around 1 a.m. on Thursday morning, the Frederick County Sheriff's Office Special Service Team used a flash bang while announcing "Sheriff's Office" to enter Vail's apartment, near the 4800 block of Westwind Drive,  police said.

While entering a room in the residence, deputies observed a man, who was later identified as Vail, pointing a shotgun at them, police said. The deputies reportedly told Vail to put the gun down, but he did not. It was at that point two deputies fired numerous rounds from their handguns, killing Vail, according to police.

Vail's mother, 46, who police did not name, was in the apartment at the time and was taken into custody, interviewed and then later released, police said.

The two Frederick County officers involved in the shooting were Dfc. Charles Zang, a 15-year veteran, and Dfc. Kevin Riffle, a 7-year veteran. Both deputies were placed on leave as part of normal agency policy, according to the Frederick sheriff's office.

No Howard County police officers made entry into the residence during the incident, although a detective was stationed outside, according to Howard County police spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn.

The incident is currently under investigation, according to police.

Llewellyn said Howard County Police are continuing their investigation into the two other suspects allegedly involved in the Jan. 8 home invasion.

Mary O. January 23, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Ryan and Keith you might want to get off you high horses and wait until the investigation is finished, you might be surprised at the outcome. And to Kelly, BINGO! There hasn't been one article to say that the three masked men were positively identified. They thought one of them sounded like Daniel, they didn't say it was Daniel. So Ryan and Keith, I will leave you with this thought, have you ever received a phone call or made a phone call when you thought the voice on the other end of the phone belonged to some one else? Only to realize that it was a different person? God knows what truly happened in the home invasion case and the police shooting, that is all that matters.
Mary O. January 23, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Oh, and the reason for my post....We are innocent until proven guilty in this country. No need for the police to do what they did...they could have picked him up at his job or when he left his house at anytime, OR maybe they could have picked up the phone and called him in to question him. All of this happened because someone SAID it sounded like this young man.
dascrilla February 15, 2013 at 08:02 AM
Who knows...? What a great way to get a victim to yield to you by yelling POLICE! POLICE! Regardless if the word police is being yelled, if my house was broken into, I'd instinctively want to protect myself.Its just like being pulled over by an u.c. You don't know if it's actually a cop. If dude did what he did then he deserves it, but i agree popo should def not be breaking into house in the middle of the night
Keith B. February 15, 2013 at 12:40 PM
"He was trying to rob back his own damn money that was stolen from him in the first place. No one knows the full story." Enough said Mary O.
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