Sergeant Joseph Pierce Horne

Sergeant Joseph Pierce Horne

West Virginia State Police, West Virginia

End of Watch Monday, September 9, 1946

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Joseph Pierce Horne

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.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Executed

Most Recent Reflection

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Sgt. Joseph Horne served with my dad in the1940s. He was killed when I was almost three; although I don’t remember him, I heard much about him as a child. May he and his family continue to rest in peace! Mary Mays Via, Charles Town, WV

Former Trooper Charles E. Mays
Daughter of a WV State Trooper

April 15, 2024

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