The Fairmont State University community was saddened to learn that the deputy U.S. marshal who died following a Feb. 16 shooting in Elkins was FSU alumnus Derek Hotsinpiller, who graduated from FSU in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
Two other deputy U.S. marshals were injured in the shooting that occurred as they were trying to serve a warrant. The names of these two marshals have not been released by the U.S. Marshals Service, but at least one media outlet, The Dominion Post, has identified one of the injured marshals as Alex Neville, who is an FSU alumnus. He graduated from Fairmont State in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
“This tragedy has greatly saddened the Fairmont State University family, from the faculty and staff to current students and alumni to the Board of Governors. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Derek Hotsinpiller during this difficult time. We wish Alex Neville and the other injured marshal a speedy recovery. We are proud of Derek’s and Alex’s association with FSU. We are proud of all of our graduates who choose careers of service that put them in harm’s way to protect our state and our nation,” said FSU President Tom Krepel.
Dr. Greg Noone, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Law and Director of the National Security and Intelligence Program, and his wife, Dr. Diana Noone, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, are two of the faculty members who knew Hotsinpiller and his family. Diana Noone was his academic adviser and taught him in several of her classes. Greg Noone coached him on the rugby club. Hotsinpiller led the FSU team and the entire league in scoring during the team’s undefeated championship season and run to the “Elite 8” in the Division III nationals in 2008-2009. He was also a member of the basketball team from 2005-2006.
“Derek was a special young man who worked hard in every practice, was extremely well liked by his teammates and always had a smile on his face. As Diana put it--one sentence cannot fully describe Derek. He was such an intelligent, caring and funny young man. We can only hope that our son grows up to be the man Derek became,” Greg Noone said.
“We were both very proud that Derek was selected for the U.S. Marshals Service. We hope that in the near future the FSU community can establish a scholarship in Derek’s name as one of our beloved graduates who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of this great nation. Derek will be missed but not forgotten.”
Jack Clayton, Directory of Emergency Services and Chief of Police, has been a close friend of the Hotsinpiller family for years.
“Derek was an example of the ideal young law enforcement officer. He was an excellent student who prepared himself academically for his profession and then excelled in his training to become a deputy U.S. marshal. He was dedicated to his family and friends as well as his job. He was everything that any law enforcement agency would want in their ranks: conscientious, dedicated, intelligent, ethical and committed to his profession. In brief he was an ideal officer who exemplified the best that Fairmont State offers to the criminal justice community. While his career was so tragically short, he will always be one of our ‘shining stars,’ ” Clayton said.
Since his graduation from Fairmont State, Alex Neville has remained involved with the institution. He was instrumental in developing a tie between FSU and the U.S. Marshals Service. FSU is the only university in the state to have a partnership with the U.S. Marshals Service Centralized Student Career Experience Program (CSCEP). Hotsinpiller was a graduate of the program.
“I have been privileged to get to know Alex Neville, who continues to provide valuable service to Fairmont State University. He has been involved with classroom instruction and screening committees on campus. He has been incredibly supportive of our students who have been going into the internship and field experience. We hope we can offer support to him and his family at this time through our thoughts and prayers,” Krepel said.