Michael Trotta, 26, grew up in Exeter

Last updated: June 02. 2014 11:11PM - 4260 Views
By - elewis@civitasmedia.com

Michael Trotta shown when he played football at Wyoming Area in 2004.
Michael Trotta shown when he played football at Wyoming Area in 2004.
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WEST HANOVER TWP. — A state police trooper who grew up in Luzerne County was shot Sunday night when confronted by an armed man at a gated residence in Dauphin County.

Michael Trotta, 26, who grew up in Exeter, was shot multiple times during a confrontation with David E. Ricker, 49, on Green Hill Road, just after 6:30 p.m., according to state police and a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Trotta underwent surgery at Hershey Medical Center. He was listed in stable condition Monday afternoon, a hospital spokesperson said.

Ricker suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen and underwent surgery at Hershey Medical. He was in stable condition.

Trotta graduated from Lackawanna College Police Academy in July 2010, and the State Police Academy in April 2011. He was assigned to Troop H, Harrisburg.

His father, Leonard Trotta, retired about two years ago as officer-in-charge with the Pittston Township Police Department.

Trotta is a 2005 graduate of Wyoming Area High School, where he was a two-year captain on the varsity football team. He went on to play football at Colgate University.

Wyoming Area Athletic Director Joseph Pizano said he coached Trotta in football and remembers him as a “dedicated leader.”

“He is the kind of kid who put his job and work first, whether it was in school or on the football field,” Pizano said.

Pizano said Trotta bench pressed nearly 500 pounds at a high school weightlifting tournament, earning him first place in the state in 2004.

State police at Carlisle and Gettysburg, which conducted the investigation, charged Ricker with criminal attempt to commit criminal homicide, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault. His bail was set at $1 million by District Judge Lowell A. Witmer of Harrisburg.

According to the criminal complaint:

Trotta was investigating a hit-and run-crash on Green Hill Road in West Hanover Township, just outside Harrisburg, at about 6:30 p.m.

A resident of Green Hill Road told Trotta that the suspected vehicle had gone up the road. Trotta found it at Ricker’s residence after a woman opened a gate blocking access to the driveway.

Neighbors told state police they heard Ricker scream, “Get the (expletive) out of here. Get off my property. I can’t take this anymore,” the complaint says.

Trooper Dana Gingerich arrived and had to climb over the driveway gate. Trotta told Gingerich he was going to arrest Ricker for assaulting a law enforcement officer.

As Trotta approached the garage, Ricker emerged from the structure holding a gun, the complaint says.

Trotta discharged a round as Gingerich heard gunfire coming from inside the building. A bloody Trotta retreated and was driven to an ambulance by a state police corporal. More gunfire was heard as troopers set up a perimeter around the house.

Troopers with the Special Emergency Response Team found Ricker lying on the ground outside the garage with a gunshot wound to his abdomen, according to the complaint.

A rifle, two handguns and multiple shell casings were found outside and inside the garage, state police said.

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