UPDATE: Hundreds Pay Final Respects to W.Va. State Trooper

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 9/5/12 @ 7:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The city of Charleston was once again the center of an emotional ceremony as the second West Virginia State Trooper killed recently in the line of duty was laid to rest.

Hundreds of people who knew Trooper Eric Workman, as well as many who didn't, wanted to attend the public memorial service Wednesday at the Charleston Civic Center to say thank you for his ultimate sacrifice.

“While we wear different colored uniforms, we essentially do the same job -- just in a different location,” said Tony Kaiser with the Minnesota State Patrol. “I feel that there's a bond that's created by just all of the stuff that we go through on a daily basis. Tragedy isn't specific to one area, so it's tough to know that brotherhood/sisterhood has a loss.”

Workman was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Roane County last week. He died on Friday.

Before the service was underway, hundreds of police cruisers from departments all over the country were parked three lanes deep and spanned several city blocks. Officers from as far as California, New York, Minnesota and Indiana attended Wednesday’s service to pay their respects.

“For a brother, there's no lengths we wouldn't go to," said Kenneth Summa with New York State Police. "It's a family community. We know the dangers that we face every day. And when a tragedy like this happens, there's no other place we'd rather be than here as a family -- helping each other through such a difficult time. I really felt it deeply. A brother is a brother no matter where you're from."

Workman’s casket was covered with an American flag and was saluted by some of his fellow officers before the service got underway. Bag pipes also played as hundreds filed in to the Civic Center to pay their respects.

Several people spoke during Wednesday’s service, including West Virginia State Police Col. Jay Smithers and Cpl. Jim Mitchell, the chaplain for West Virginia State Police.

Workman was described as a man full of life who cared so deeply for others. Workman was also called an outstanding athlete and person.

"He laid down his life for all of us, most of whom he'd never met," Smithers said. “This man could not wait to get into public service."

Workman is described as someone who valued his family and his state. He was an avid hunter and fisher. He was a baseball star who grew up in Clay County, went to high school and graduated from West Virginia State University.

Eric's baseball coach and longtime friend Calvin Bailey says he saw him grow from a boy to a man, calling him a man of respect and integrity.

"Thank you Eric for allowing us to have 26 years," Bailey said. "Eric, you have made a difference."

Fellow troopers say Workman gave up his baseball career to follow another dream in the West Virginia State Police.

"Eric believed that as he was in the arena of life, that he was the one person that could make a difference," Mitchell said. "Not only did he make a difference in the lives of fellow students, not only did he make a difference on the field of athletics, not only did he make a difference in the West Virginia State Police but Eric made a difference in the lives of people in his death of whom he didn't know because he had an attitude of giving and of sacrificing and of serving."

Workman’s pastor also spoke about his character and his hope to see Workman one day.

“One day, we will see Eric again. That's my hope. That's my promise," Pastor Mike Long said.

The service ended when Trooper Workman’s unit number, 665, was called out one final time across the radio.

The procession traveled from Charleston to Interstate 64 and then the group will head up I-79 to Clay County. They traveled by the spot where the tragedy began.

Workman was buried at a family cemetery in Ivydale, W.Va.

West Virginia State Police Cpl. Marshall Bailey was also killed during the incident last week. He was laid to rest on Sunday.

The third officer, Roane County Sheriffs Deputy John Westfall, also was shot several times, but he survived. He is recovering at home.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/5/12 @ 8:15 a.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Hundreds are expected to attend a memorial service a West Virginia State Trooper killed in the line of duty.

Trooper Eric Workman will be honored at a public memorial service at the Charleston Civic Center at 2 p.m.

Click here to watch a live feed of the funeral services for Trooper Eric Workman starting at 2 p.m.

Traffic near the civic center will be affected by the ceremony.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Clendenin Street will be closed between Lee and Quarrier streets between the Civic Center and the Charleston Town Center Mall.

According to a news release, police say they expect traffic around the Civic Center -- on Pennsylvania Avenue, Lee and Quarrier streets -- to be very heavy after 1 p.m. as law enforcement officials from throughout the region join others to honor Trooper Workman.

Following the service, portions of Washington, Lee and Quarrier streets and Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed temporarily while the funeral and law enforcement procession leaves the Civic Center and heads toward Clay County. Traffic on I-64 eastbound and I-77 northbound will also be affected as the procession moves onto the interstate and through the splits toward I-79. Authorities estimate that the processional will begin sometime abotu 3:30 or 4 p.m.

Workman will be buried in a family cemetery in Ivydale.

Workman was shot during a traffic stop in Roane County last week. He died on Friday. Cpl. Marshall Bailey was also killed during the incident. He was laid to rest on Sunday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/4/12 @ 9 p.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The gray clouds over the town of Clay Tuesday afternoon somehow suited the mood. Everyone was mourning ... everyone struggling with the same tough emotions.

“Sadness and pain and regret for a tragedy that shouldn't have happened,” Dora Markle said.

Markle and her daughter are two of many folks who lined up at Clay County High School to pay their respects to one of their own. Trooper Eric Workman graduated from that school and was fondly remembered there. For Dora, it's like losing a family member.

“You just don't know what to say or what to do, but when tragedy happens ... You just feel like they're all your brothers, sisters, fathers,” Markle said.

At Gino's Pizza, employees are taking the loss hard. It was a favorite place to eat for Trooper Workman. The sign outside remembers their friend.

“It's really hitting us hard knowing that they're not going to be coming back in,” manager Shawn Bass said. “It's kinda like a bad dream.”

From the courthouse, to the library, to the gas station … just about every building in town is honoring the two lives lost one week ago.

“People are really starting to realize that in one night, one day something can happen and you'll never have that person again,” Bass said.

“Clay County is in mourning,” Markle said.



UPDATE 9/4/12 @ 7:40 a.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A community will come together Tuesday to honor the life of a West Virginia State Trooper shot and killed in the line of duty.

Visitation for friends and family of Eric Workman will be from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Clay County High School.

A special candlelight vigil was held Monday night for Trooper Workman, who grew up in Clay.

Workman was shot during a traffic stop in Roane County last week. He died on Friday.

Cpl. Marshall Bailey was also killed during the incident. He was laid to rest Sunday.

On Wednesday, a public memorial service will be held at the Charleston Civic Center. Workman will then be buried in a family cemetery in Ivydale, W.Va.

Clay County High School is closed to students on Tuesday for the visitation.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/3/12 @ 11:20 p.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Labor Day is usually a time to celebrate, but this year was very different for the town of Clay. Families are still grieving the loss of two fallen West Virginia State officers -- one of them belonging to their community.

A special candlelight vigil was held Monday night for Trooper Eric Michael Workman, who grew up in Clay. His life was taken in the line of duty last week along with that of Cpl. Marshall Bailey, who was laid to rest Sunday.

Crowds braved a heavy rain to gather at the Clay County Courthouse and honor both men with their thoughts and prayers.

“It’s nice that everybody’s showing their support ... seeing the community come together,” Trooper D.L. Gordon said as he attended the vigil. “Even though it’s pouring down rain, cars are lined up around the street … it’s a real honor.”

Clay resident Drema Anderson said she would feel compelled to attend the vigil under any conditions. “I’d have been here if it was flooding 10-feet deep,” she said. “We’d have ridden our boats out here if we had to.”

Folks say losing Trooper Workman has shaken their town and that recovery will be a community effort. They described him as athletic, thoughtful and driven, and that he was committed to his work and family.

“He was sincere, reserved and kind,” Clay County Commission President Jerry Linkinoggor said. “He was exactly the type of person you want to see in law enforcement.”

There will be a private visitation for Trooper Workman in Clay from 1 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. A public visitation will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Charleston Civic Center.



UPDATE 9/1/12
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Funeral arrangement have been set for West Virginia State Trooper Eric Workman.

Visitation for friends and family of Workman will be on Tuesday, September 4, from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Clay County High School.

On Wednesday, September 5, a public memorial service will be held at the Charleston Civic Center.

Workman will then be buried in a family cemetery in Ivydale, West Virginia.



UPDATE 8/31/12 @ 6:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Trooper Eric Michael Workman passed away Friday at CAMC in Charleston, West Virginia State Police say.

Workman, who received an outpouring of prayers and support from people throughout our region, was an organ donor.

Col. C. R. "Jay" Smithers released the following statement about the passing of Trooper Workman:

"He was an outstanding young man with a promising future. It is unfortunate his life was cut short by this senseless and cowardly act. Our prayers continue to be with his family and friends. I am overwhelmed by the support the West Virginia State Police family is receiving during this difficult time."



ORIGINAL STORY 8/29/12
INSTITUTE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Family and friends are hoping and praying West Virginia State Trooper Eric Workman will pull through a tragic shooting that happened Tuesday in Roane County -- a shooting that claimed the life of his fellow comrade.

Workman and State Police Cpl. Marshall Bailey were shot by a man in what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop. Bailey did not survive his injuries.

"He felt it was his calling to be in law enforcement," Coach Calvin Bailey said of Workman. Bailey is the baseball coach at West Virginia State and has known Workman since he was a 13-year old who showed up one day for baseball camp.

"It's sad how things can go so badly" Bailey said. He spent part of Tuesday night in the hospital waiting room, waiting for news on Workman's condition.

He's currently on life support in critical condition.

"This isn't just a job; these kids become like family," Bailey said. "You just hope somehow miracles work and things work out for the best."


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