Bio & Incident Details
Age: Not available
Tour: 20 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 9/9/1946
Weapon: Officer's handgun
Sergeant Joseph Horne and Sheriff Gay Hovatter, of the Tucker County Sheriff's Department, were shot and killed while arresting a man for stealing a coal truck.
The officers had served the arrest warrant at the man's home and accompanied him inside to obtain personal effects. While inside, the man shot and killed both officers with a pistol he had hidden in his waistband. The suspect then shot Sheriff Hovatter's son, who had accompanied his father.
The suspect fled the scene but was arrested the following day during a massive manhunt. The man was convicted of the murders and executed by hanging.
Sergeant Horne had been employed with the West Virginia State Police for 20 years, and is survived by his wife and young daughter.
Related Line of Duty Deaths
Sheriff O. Gay Hovatter