CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia State Police Trooper Eric Workman was pronounced dead Friday at CAMC General Hospital. He had been there in a coma and on life support since Tuesday night, when an Oak Hill man shot him and another trooper.
A statement posted on Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's website Friday afternoon confirmed Workman's death.
Workman and Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey were shot by Luke Baber, 22, of Oak Hill, who pulled a concealed pistol out of his trousers after he had been arrested for reckless driving and handcuffed with his hands in front of him.
Baber was seated in the back of the troopers' cruiser when he pulled the gun and shot Bailey and Workman in the head at the Wallback park and ride near the Clay-Roane county line. Bailey died that evening, and Workman had been in critical condition ever since.
Baber also shot and wounded tow truck driver William Frank Massey, and then fled. Sheriff's deputies from Roane and Clay counties found him hiding near the park and ride and killed him in a shootout. Roane County Deputy John Westfall was wounded in that exchange.
Bailey, 42, was a 17-year veteran of the State Police. Workman, 26, joined the agency in January 2011.
State Police Superintendent Col. C.R. "Jay" Smithers released a statement after Workman's death was announced, thanking everyone for their prayers and support.
"Trooper Workman was an outstanding young man with a promising future. It is unfortunate his life was cut short by this senseless and cowardly act," Smithers said. "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."
"I met with Trooper Workman's family earlier this week, and I can honestly say without a doubt, West Virginia lost a very brave young man this afternoon," Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in a statement. "Joanne and I have held this family and the entire West Virginia State Police family in our prayers, and we will continue to pray for them in the days ahead. May God bless the men and women who wear the uniform and whose mission it is to protect us all."
The two troopers will be recognized Saturday at the West Virginia-Marshall football game in Morgantown. During the first timeout, State Police troopers at the stadium will be called onto the field, and a moment of silence will be held for Bailey and Workman.
Before he joined the State Police, Workman was a star baseball player at West Virginia State University and made the All-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first team in 2008 and 2009. He was named conference player of the year in 2009. Workman broke numerous school records and ranks first in games played, runs scored, hits, doubles and triples.
"He was determined," WVSU head baseball coach Calvin Bailey said Friday of the star center fielder. "During batting practice, he wouldn't let anyone else be in center field because he wanted to catch every hit ball.
"He would run to left center and dive for the ball and then do it again on the right," Bailey said. "He loved that the most. That was his thing at practice."
Bailey said every year Workman improved and excelled on and off the field.
"He was determined to make himself better. He was very diligent in trying to improve," he said. "He came in an underachiever and left an overachiever."