Moral Low Ground


West Virginia Sheriff Eugene Crum Shot Dead Near Mingo County Courthouse

Eugene Crum

A West Virginia sheriff was shot dead near a county courthouse on Wednesday. The suspected gunman, who was shot while fleeing, is in police custody.

Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot four times about one block from the county courthouse near the corner of Third and Harvey Streets in Williamson at around noon on Wednesday. Crum was reportedly on his lunch break when he was fatally shot, according to WSAZ. The Williamson Daily News reports that the sheriff was shot as he sat in his car.

West Virginia State Police say they have apprehended a suspect in the shooting. Tennis Melvin Maynard, 37, reportedly fled the scene of the shooting and was spotted by a sheriff’s deputy as he headed toward Delbarton. WCHS reports that the deputy rammed Maynard’s gold Ford Ranger pickup truck, forcing it to a halt on a bridge. A witness said Maynard got out of the pickup holding a gun, at which time he was shot by the deputy.

Maynard was airlifted to Cabell Huntington Hospital, where he underwent surgery.

The Mingo County Courthouse was evacuated following the shooting incident. The courthouse is scheduled to be closed for the remainder of the day.

A candlelight vigil for Crum is scheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m. at the courthouse.

Sheriff Crum had just begun his tenure at the beginning of this year after serving as police chief of nearby Delbarton and as a magistrate for 12 years. He had recently implemented a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to combat drug use in the rural county of 27,000 people. It is unclear whether his death was related to his aggressive drug enforcement policy.

Crum is survived by his children and grandchildren.

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