Holdenville, OK – Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) Correctional Officer Alan Jay Hershberger was murdered in the line of duty when an inmate attacked him from behind Sunday, according to his agency.
The 61-year-old correctional officer was working his shift at Davis Correctional Facility, a private prison, at approximately 10 a.m. on July 31 when 49-year-old convicted killer Gregory Thompson attacked him from behind “using a homemade weapon,” the DOC said in a press release on Monday.
Correctional Officer Hershberger was conducting an “inmate movement” at the time, according to the DOC.
“Davis Correctional Facility staff responded quickly and valiantly after the attack, attempting life-saving measures while securing the area to ensure the safety of staff and other inmates,” the DOC said.
Correctional Officer Hershberger did not survive the vicious assault.
“It’s just terrible. It’s gut-wrenching,” his former coworker, William Rogers told KOTV. “It’s that moment you can’t really speak.”
Thompson is currently serving a life sentence in connection for a first-degree murder conviction out of Oklahoma County, according to the DOC.
He has a consecutive sentence for first-degree manslaughter slated to follow his life sentence.
The consecutive sentence involved him killing a fellow inmate in 2009, Tulsa World reported.
The DOC’s Office of the Inspector General is handling the ongoing investigation into Correctional Officer Hershberger’s murder.
“The agency mourns the loss of Officer Hershberger and expresses our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the DOC said in the press release.
In addition to his service to the DOC, Correctional Officer Hershberger was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy, the Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard, KOTV reported.
His family described him as a “loyal and caring person.”
“The world will forever miss him,” his obituary read.
Correctional Officer Hershberger will be laid to rest on Aug. 11.
The AR DOC Family’s thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of Oklahoma Department of Corrections Officer Alan Hershberger, who was tragically killed in the line of duty. pic.twitter.com/huTC7ovpOI
— Arkansas Department of Corrections (@ADCPIO) August 3, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Oklahoma Department of Corrections Correctional Officer Alan Jay Hershberger, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.