It's not clear what led to the shooting, but the tragedy is an awful reminder that every time a police officer puts on his or her uniform and steps into the line of duty, they are at risk.
One hundred and seventy-three law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in this country last year.
In West Virginia earlier this year, Monongalia County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Todd May was killed when a drunk driver trying to evade the police crashed into his cruiser on I-79 north of Morgantown.
As Tomblin said late Tuesday, "The tragedy reminds us of the sacrifices that our law enforcement officers make every day to keep us safe."
The police often have a thankless job; they deal with everybody from the most dangerous in our communities to drunks involved in domestic disputes to the average person who is just irritated at being pulled over by the police.
But it's only because they do their jobs as best they can that the rest of us can go about our lives with a reasonable expectation of safety and security.
Tuesday night's violence is a personal tragedy for the victims' families, a loss for law enforcement agencies through the state, and an affront to law-abiding West Virginians.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.