Tuesday, April 13, 1993


Farewell Salute

Julie Hacker, daughter of slain Trooper Larry Hacker is held by her mother, Diane, as the casket carrying the trooper's body is put into the hearse at McCullough-Rogers Funeral Home In Pennsboro. Hundreds of officers from several states stood at attention. and saluted as the casket passed. Below a police cortege travels to the cemetery In Gilmer County

Note: The above text is as it was published, but Julie is with Patty Deak, not her mother Diane


Trooper Made the Uniform, Pastor Says at Crowded Service
By David Wilkison

HARRISVILLE (AP) - A state trooper shot dead 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 being shot in a hollow near Pullman.

"He was very proud of that uniform," Trooper Ronald Blevins said during his eulogy. "The day ho 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, 18 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 several states.

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

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

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

He said too often people viewed officers such as Hacker as "just a gun and a badge."

"I want you to know this was a man," Mlnney said. "He had a family, he had a wile, 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 in the line of duty since April 1989.

"It brings back to home with each one of us just how dangerous this profession is that we practice," said state police Cpl. R.D. Gillespie in Franklin. "With everyone coming together it starts the healing process."

Hacker was investigating a dispute between neighbors. Dennis Ferguson, 67, of Pullman is accused of shooting Hacker as he walked up Ferguson's driveway about 10 miles east of Harrisvlfle, police said.

Neighbors had called to complain Ferguson was using his pickup to block a one-lane road nearby.

Ferguson remained in the Ritchie County Jail without bond Monday pending a preliminary hearing, which has not been set.