Daniel Vail killed by Frederick County Sheriff's deputies

Daniel Vail was slain by Frederick County sheriff's deputies.

Two Frederick County Sheriff's Office deputies shot and killed a 19-year-old man who pointed a shotgun at them in Mt. Airy Thursday morning, authorities say.

The deceased man is identified as Daniel Vail.

“Daniel was a nice little kid and there was nothing wrong with him and he was not a threat,” said a man who said he was Vail’s uncle but declined to be identified.

The deputies in the shooting were identified as 15-year veteran Charles Zang and 7-year veteran Kevin Riffle.

“Shortly after we entered the home three of our officers entered a bedroom inside the home and they encountered the young man who pulled up a shotgun and leveled it at us,” said Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of the Frederick County Sheriff’s office. “My deputies had to defend themselves.”

Vail was a suspect in a home invasion robbery. In that incident on Long Corner Road, which police believe was drug related, three masked men with a baseball bat and shotgun allegedly tried to rob four people.

Sources say the victims recognized Vail's voice as one of the suspects and police acted on an arrest warrant.

The sheriff’s office stated that at about 1 a.m. Thursday, deputies served a warrant in the 4800 block of Westwind Drive in Mt. Airy. The warrant was related to a Howard County home invasion and robbery.

While serving the warrant, deputies came upon Vail, who was pointing a shotgun at them, authorities say. The deputies ordered him to drop the shot and he allegedly refused. The deputies then shot and killed Vail.

“I'm gonna make one statement: The police killed my grandson. That's what I'm gonna tell you,” said a woman who declined to be identified but said she was Vail’s grandmother.