Trooper Dies at CCMH
- The death of a state police trooper shot from an ambush while
answering a complaint against a rural Ritchie County man remained under,
Trooper Larry G. Hacker, 34, of Harrisville died at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital about 1 am. today, State Police Sgt. B.L. Burner said in a brief statement on the incident. "Trooper Hacker was shot and killed while answering a disturbance complaint in the Pullman area," Burner of Company A Headquarters in Shinnston said this morning.
The shooting sparked a gun battle Thursday night between officers who rushed to the scene and suspected killer Dennis Ferguson, who held paramedics at bay with gunfire as they tried to reach the wounded trooper, State Police Superintendent Col. Thorn Kirk said.
Ferguson, 67, was arrested about two hours after the 10 p.m. shooting in a wooded area near the scene, Kirk said. A warrant charging Ferguson with murder was issued in Harrisville early today and was being sent to Parkersburg, Burner said.
Burner said Hacker was flown to Camden-Clark Memorial
Hospital by helicopter from the rural community of White Oak about three
miles east of Pullman. Burner said when police arrested Ferguson he
required medical treatment. Ferguson had an injury above his eye and was
transported to St.
"They did have a shoot-out with him (Ferguson)
but I don't know whether that affected it," Burner said.
Ritchie County Sheriff Mike Burwell said the gun
battle lasted between 20 and 30 minutes. Ferguson had retreated to a
knoll where he could watch the police officers, Burwell said.
"I really wasn't keeping too good a track of time
with all that was going on out there," Burwell said,
"He (Ferguson) had the mad blocked," Burwell
said. "They were having some kind of a dispute."
Hissom called for further assistance at the time of
the shooting and several law enforcement officers from state police and
area departments responded, Burwell said.
Hacker had first worked in Harrisville from the time he left the state police academy in the late 1980s until May 1992, said Dawna Baker, St. Marys detachment secretary. Baker said she had worked with Hacker at both the Harrisville and St. Marys detachments and considered him a friend.
"He loved his family very much and it showed," Baker said. "He was a very trusting person. He was very sweet and very kind, very thoughtful."
The last trooper killed in the line of duty in West
Virginia was James