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Man wanted in Howard County home invasion fatally shot by Frederick County Sheriff's deputies

A Frederick County man wanted in connection with a Jan. 8 home invasion in western Howard County was fatally shot early Thursday morning by members of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office Special Services Team serving a Howard County search warrant, according to a sheriff's office news release.

Daniel Vail, 19, of the 4800 block of Westwind Drive, was shot numerous times after he confronted members of the special services team with a shotgun around 1 a.m. inside his two-bedroom apartment.

The deputies were serving a search and seizure warrant issued by Howard County Police.

According to Howard County Police, Vail was wanted in connection with a home invasion in Mt. Airy on Jan. 8, during which three masked men, one of whom had a shotgun, attempted to force their way into a residence located in the 600 block of Long Corner Road in Mt. Airy. 

Howard County Police believe the incident may have been drug related, but would not give further details. 

According to the news release, the two deputies entered the apartment using a diversionary "flash bang" device and repeatedly announced "sheriff's office."

Once inside the apartment, deputies found Vail pointing a shotgun at them. They repeatedly ordered Vail to drop the gun, and when he did not comply fired numerous rounds.

The news release said investigators are still working to determine how many shots were fired by the deputies. 

Vail dropped to the ground and was immediately pronounced dead by the paramedic on the scene. 

Also inside the apartment was Vail's mother, 46, who also lives there. She was uninjured during the incident.

Howard County Police are investigating the home invasion robbery and are working to identify the two others involved.

At 6 a.m. this morning, investigators from Howard and Frederick returned to the apartment to conduct a follow up investigation.

The officers involved in the shooting have been identified as Dfc. Charles Zang, a 15-year veteran of the office, and Dfc. Kevin Riffle, a 7-year veteran of the office.

According to the news release, an internal investigation will coincide with the criminal investigation, and both deputies have been placed on Administrative Leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigations. 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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