Rebecca Hill considered her husband, Darius, "the most honorable person I've ever met."

A Marine veteran who served in the first Gulf War, the home-improvement contractor lived near Perkasie with his wife and two small daughters, a seemingly placid man with "Death Before Dishonor" tattooed on his right arm.

That he died Monday night in a hail of bullets in his upstairs bedroom during an FBI raid of their Hilltown Township home has left Rebecca Hill beyond incredulous.

"I just don't understand what happened in my bedroom for things to have turned out this way," Rebecca Hill, 39, said yesterday.

Darius Hill, 39, died of multiple gunshot wounds early Monday evening. One of the wounds was self-inflicted, Bucks County Coroner Joseph Campbell said, but it remained unclear whether that wound was fatal.

While scant information has been released about what happened in the Hill house Monday, Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry did confirm last night that "the federal search warrant was for the possession and distribution of child pornography."

She did not have a detailed list of what was seized but said it included computer equipment.

Law enforcement authorities did not disclose the shooting for nearly 24 hours.

The FBI refused to comment, other than to say that the shooting was being investigated internally.

Henry said that Bucks County detectives were investigating whether the use of deadly force was justified, and she confirmed that Darius Hill was holding a handgun. She would not elaborate on the shooting or what led to it.

Rebecca Hill was present only for the outset of the raid and has gleaned few bits of information. She said she knew of no involvement by her husband in child pornography.

The search-warrant application remained sealed yesterday.

Having briefly returned to the home on Tuesday, Rebecca Hill said it appeared her husband was shot near a window of their bedroom. The window was broken and bore two bullet holes; blood dripped from the sill, and a patch of carpet beside it had been bloodstained, she said.

Her husband kept a handgun, locked in a box, in a drawer beside his bed for protection, she said.

"I can't understand how something like this happened if they were just there to search my house," she said. "No one can tell me what happened in the bedroom for my husband to feel threatened.

"Did anyone say where they were from? Did anyone tell him why they were there? No one can tell me."

She had answered the door shortly before 7 p.m. Monday. On the step was a uniformed Hilltown Township officer; behind him, two men in plainclothes.

Her young daughters, 5-year-old Shelby and 3-year-old Reagan, ran excitedly in their pajamas to the door. "They thought it was the pizza man," Hill said.

The officer "told me that they were there to serve a federal search warrant," she recalled.

He asked how many people were in the house; she told him the three of them and her husband, who had been watching TV news in the living room.

She then heard footsteps on the stairway, "and the officer walked right past me. . . . All of a sudden, there were people coming through my door real fast."

The Hilltown officer reappeared, clearly anxious. " 'Ma'am, you need to grab your kids and get out of here,' " she recalled him saying.

He led them to a police cruiser parked on Callowhill Street. Rebecca Hill was in bare feet. She said the children, in socks, cried as the gravel driveway hurt their feet. Hill said she heard the officer, whose name she did not know, say "barricade" into his clip-on shoulder mike.

She demanded to know what was happening.

" 'Ma'am, I don't know what's going on,' " she said the officer replied. " 'We have a situation.' " He drove them to the police station.

At least four or five men, all in plainclothes, had run past her into the house, Hill said. None had identified himself as an FBI agent, she said.

More than two hours later, Bucks County Detective Terry Lachman and another man arrived to interview her.

When Lachman asked her about child pornography, "I told him I had no idea what he was talking about. I told him whatever was in my house, they were welcome to look for it."

About 20 minutes into the interview, she said, she demanded to know where her husband was. "That's when he said, 'Ma'am, we regret to inform you that your husband was fatally shot in a confrontation.' "

Hill's family has hired a private attorney, Greg Mitsch of Doylestown, to look into the shooting. Mitsch said he had retained forensic pathologist William Manion, deputy medical examiner for Burlington County, to re-autopsy the body once it is released.

For now, Rebecca Hill said she was hard-pressed to imagine her husband in a gun battle with the FBI.

A Bucks County native who graduated from Pennridge High School, he enlisted in the Marines and served as a tank commander in Kuwait during the first Gulf War, she said. She met him after his discharge at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and they married almost seven years ago.

"Despite having been in the Marines, he never cusses, never says a bad word," she said, still speaking of him in the present tense. "It's very hard to rile Darius up."