The Dominion Post

Tuesday, April 13, 1993

More Than 1,000 Pay Respect to Slain Trooper

AP Photo

More than 1,000 people, including officers from four other states, attended the funeral service of State Trooper Larry G. Hacker on Monday in Harrisville.




Family Man Remembered for His Tales
By David Wilkison
Associated Press

HARRISVILLE - A state trooper shot to death while investigating a dispute between neighbors loved his job and talking about family, a friend said Monday.

More than 1,000 people, including officers from four other states, attended the funeral of Trooper Larry Hacker at the Ritchie County High School gymnasium.

Hacker, 34, of Harrisville, died Friday after he was shot while in a hollow near Pullman.

"He was very proud of that uniform," Trooper Ronald Blevins said during his eulogy. "The day he graduated from the state police academy was one of the proudest days of his life.

"The uniform did not make Larry a trooper. But rather, he made the uniform," said Blevins, a pastor at the First Assembly of God Church in Harrisville.

Blevins, who trained Hacker as a rookie in 1989, said Hacker liked to hunt and fish and regretted not having enough time to spend with his wife, Diane, and two young daughters.

"I'm going to miss his little stories," Blevins said. "Larry could take a one-minute story and turn it into a two-hour episode."

Earlier, hundreds filed past the open casket where Hacker's body was dressed in uniform with his trooper's hat placed over his chest. Flowers surrounded the casket and two troopers stood at attention at both ends.

After Hacker's family entered, 16 troopers marched in pairs toward the casket, saluting slowly as they reached it.

In attendance were more than 200 state troopers, Gov. Gaston Caperton, Public Safety Secretary Joseph Skaff and law enforcement officers from Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia.

Col. Thorn Kirk, superintendent of state police, helped carry the casket.

The Rev. Mark Minney said Hacker's death "shocked this community."

"I had a great deal of respect for this young man,' Minney said. "It has been for our good that he chose the occupation that he did."

He said two often people viewed officers like Hacker as "just a gun and a badge."

"I want you to know this was a man," Minney said. "He had a family, he had a wife, he had children. We need to remember these things."

As the casket was carried from the gym, hundreds of officers stood at attention and saluted as it passed. His family followed.

More than 100 police cruisers with their lights flashing escorted the limousine to a cemetery in Gilmer County about 50 miles away.

Hacker was the first trooper slain on duty since April 1989.

Hacker was called to a dispute between neighbors when Dennis Ferguson, 67, of Pullman allegedly shot him as he walked up Ferguson's driveway about 10 miles east of Harrisville, police said.