CAROLINE CROSSROADS Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
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Trooper shot on I-95 released from the hospital

The Virginia State Trooper who was shot in the leg during a struggle with a man on Interstate 95 last week was released from the hospital last night.

Senior Trooper Mike Hamer, 51, is recovering at home after being discharged from Mary Washington Hospital late last night, said Sgt. Thomas Molnar of the State Police.

No addition information was released about Hamer’s condition.

According to Molnar,  state police were called around 1:30 p.m. Thursday about an abandoned 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe in the median on the southbound side of I-95 at the 120-mile marker, which is just north of the Thornburg exit in Spotsylvania County.

The driver fled into a wooded area after a special agent with the Department of Motor Vehicles tried to stop him for reckless driving, Molnar said. A search proved fruitless.

About 30 minutes later and two miles farther south on I-95, a tractor-trailer driver who had pulled over to inspect a tire reported that a man approached him and attempted to gain access to his vehicle. Molnar said the man fled back into the wooded area.

Hamer responded and found Herbert J. Wheeler Jr., 32, of Flintlock Drive in Chesterfield County walking along the right shoulder of the interstate at mile marker 116 in Caroline County at 2:49 p.m., Molnar said.

Hamer placed Wheeler in his unmarked patrol car, Molnar said, and a violent struggle ensued.

“During the struggle, the suspect attempted to take control of the trooper’s service weapon when the weapon discharged, striking the trooper in the leg,” Molnar said. “As the violent struggle continued inside the trooper’s vehicle, the trooper returned fire with another weapon.” Wheeler later died from his injuries.

The trooper stumbled out of his vehicle, bleeding severely. Two women and a man stopped to help, Molnar said.

Hamer joined the state police on Oct. 16, 1996, after serving in the Marine Corps. He was first assigned to patrol the Dinwiddie County area, and transferred in August 2001 to patrol the Spotsylvania area, Molnar said.

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