A Tragedy




Trooper Hacker Was Respected Officer
Called to the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

No man is promised tomorrow. That became a brutal truth when Trooper Larry Hacker was gunned down April 8 in the rural White Oak community of Ritchie County. 

Nothing can bring home our own mortality like the senseless killing of one of our protectors. 

Trooper Hacker knew the dangers of police work, but he loved it. Next to his wife and two young daughters, he loved his job with the West Virginia State Police best. 

He also loved hunting and fishing and telling stories to his friends. He's been depicted as a man who loved life and as a man loved by his family and friends. 

His death was a tragedy of the highest magnitude. 

Trooper Hackett died at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital on April 9. The 34-year-old Gilmer County native was buried there near Cedar Creek Monday. More than 1,000 people paid last respects at a funeral service in Ritchie County High School's gymnasium. 

He was ambushed when he arrived at the home of Dennis Ferguson, 67. Ferguson had blocked a rural road with his truck as the latest episode in a long- running community dispute. Trooper Hacker had been called to the scene to mediate. Ferguson has been charged with Trooper Hacker's murder.

It appears that Ferguson had no particular quarrel with Trooper Hacker specifically. The trooper was just called to the wrong place at the wrong time. It could have been any other officer who met Trooper Hacker's fate. Trooper Hacker was the first trooper to be killed in the line of duty in West Virginia since April 1989. 

Larry Hacker was a respected member of one of this country's most respected police forces. He loved his job and, ultimately, gave it his all His family, friends and co-workers have our sympathy.