New Jersey trooper shot during home invasion probe honored

State police say a trooper shot while investigating a reported home invasion robbery at a mobile home park last spring has been named New Jersey’s state trooper of the year for 2020.

Colonel Patrick Callahan said State Police Detective Richard Hershey was honored for what officials called his "fearless and courageous actions" during the investigation in which he sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen.

"Detective Hershey’s outstanding dedication and commitment are deserving of the honor of being named, "Trooper of the Year." His heroic actions undoubtedly protected the residents of that neighborhood and prevented further tragedy. The remarkable efforts of Detective Richard Hershey embody the New Jersey State Police core values of Honor, Duty, and Fidelity," officials wrote in a Facebook post about the announcement.

According to investigators, a woman had been beaten and robbed by a group of women during the robbery, and the trooper was conducting interviews with witnesses.

As the Det. Hershey stood outside, in plainclothes and an unmarked vehicle, authorities say five vehicles approached the scene.

Hershey identified himself as law enforcement and ordered the occupants of those vehicles to leave. As one of the vehicles drove off, authorities say one of the occupants shot Det. Hershey in the leg, and he returned fire.