Trooper First Class Thomas Dean Hercules

Trooper First Class Thomas Dean Hercules

West Virginia State Police, West Virginia

End of Watch Wednesday, January 12, 1977

Thomas Dean Hercules

Trooper Thomas Hercules and Trooper Charles Johnson were shot and killed in Paw Paw, West Virginia, while serving an arrest warrant on a burglary suspect. After the initial arrest the officers took the suspect to his home to allow him to collect some personal belongings. Trooper Hercules waited in the patrol car as Trooper Johnson took him inside.

While inside the suspect was able to gain control of Trooper Johnson's service weapon and shot him to death. The man then ran outside and exchanged shots with Trooper Hercules. The suspect then stole the patrol car and fled. He committed suicide three days later as officers closed in on his location.

Trooper Hercules was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War and had served with the West Virginia State Police for 19 years. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

A section of US Highway 522 south of Berkeley Springs was renamed in honor of Trooper Hercules and Trooper Johnson.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Committed suicide


Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

As a cadet at the academy, in 1988, this situation was still being taught as a situation to avoid The death of these two Troopers has had a profound effect on the way that Troopers and Officers conduct themselves even today. Your death has probably saved the lives of countless Officers. We will all see you on the other side. Rest well Devil Dog.

Sergeant Albert Vincent
Goodlettsville police department

January 12, 2017

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