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

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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 15 Reflections

I spoke with Hercules widow in 1999. She told me the story of her hero. She also shared the story of how he was buried in Berkely Springs and the desecration that his headstone was enduring. My father was a MI State policeman and the story did not sit well with me. I organized everything to bring back Hercules to a place of honor and brought him to Follansbee WV. There we dedicated him finally to the Honor spot he so truly deserved. Years later I was driving on 522 and saw that they honored him and Trooper Johnson with a memorial. You could've taken a bucket of water and poured it over my head and would not have matched the joyful tears I shed that day. Trooper Hercules, although we never formally met, you live with me for the rest of my life. Bless you and your 2 boys and probably several children and grandchildren by now. What an honor to have shared this world with you for the short time you were here.

Kimberly Harris

July 6, 2022

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