‘I refused to give up.’ Trooper of the Year reflects on shootout that injured him
New Jersey is hearing from the state police “Trooper of the Year.”
Detective Richard Hershey was shot in the line of duty last year while responding to a break-in in Pittsgrove.
“I first realized I was shot, there are so many emotions going on. Adrenaline is pumping from my body. It’s either flight or fight,” he says.
Authorities say that while Hershey was investigating a break-in at a trailer park, the suspects involved returned to the scene and started shooting at him.
“I refused to give up. I knew I was injured. I tried to get up, unfortunately my leg was crippled from the incident at the time,” Hershey says. “The whole time crawling, you’re questioning how serious it is. How bad was this? Where was I hit?”
Hershey says that he knew that he had to call for backup and get help. He has since recovered from his injuries. He says that the Trooper of the Year award is not just for him.
“The guys I work with in Troop A – criminal investigations office, the men and women in the crime scene unit and the men I work with in the homicide unit – I can’t say how much they mean to me. Without them, I wouldn’t have the closure I have today. They worked night and day around the clock. They didn’t’ go home to see their families. If I could share this award with them, I’d have them up there with me,” he says.
Hershey says that it is because of his fellow troopers that he has been able to recover.
“They told me, ‘Don’t be ashamed to talk about the events. We’re here for you if you need help. Talk to us.’ And like I said, I owe a lot to them,” he says.
Three men were charged in the shooting and 18 others are facing other charges related to the investigation.