Travis Brinks/MetroNews photo

Flowers mark the spot where Sheriff Eugene Crum’s cruiser was parked when he was shot and killed Wed. afternoon in Williams. Red chalk marks indicate where the tires were parked.


WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum, who was shot and killed near the county courthouse in Wednesday, had become concerned after receiving threats recently.

The alleged shooter, Tennis Melvin Maynard, 37, of Ragland, was taken into custody after a brief car chase.

Police said Crum was eating lunch in his sheriff’s cruiser in the parking lot of the Mingo County Courthouse around noon Wednesday. Eyewitnesses said the shooter got out of another vehicle, walked to the sheriff’s car, and shot Sheriff Crum at point-blank range before fleeing. 

Sheriff Eugene Crum

State Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Baylous said a Mingo County deputy began pursuing Maynard, a chase that ended in Delbarton when Maynard lost control of his vehicle. The suspect stepped out of his car and allegedly brandished a gun before the deputy shot him at least twice.

Maynard was initially taken to Logan Regional Medical Center and then to Cabell-Huntington Hospital. His condition has not been released.

MetroNews affiliate WVOW Radio in Logan reported the sheriff had expressed concern in recent days over threats he received.

The sheriff’s death sent shock through the state, including the capitol, where Del. Justin Marcum (D-Mingo) worked closely with Crum in his dual role as assistant prosecutor in Mingo County.

“He was a true friend to the county,” Marcum told MetroNews. “He’s been fighting the drug trade that’s been going on. He’s going to be dearly missed.”

Marcum said Crum, who took office in January, frequently sat in his sheriff’s cruiser at lunch, with others saying he did so to monitor a building where a pill mill used to be located.

Mingo County Delegate Harry Keith White told MetroNews Crum was keeping his campaign promise by trying “to clean up a lot of the drug problems in Mingo County.” White said the community was having trouble processing the tragedy.

“You don’t ever expect it to happen (in Mingo County). I hate to say it this way, but maybe it’s a sign of the times.”

Crum had been a law enforcement officer for 30 years. He previously served as a Mingo County magistrate and as police chief in Delbarton.

State police are investigating the deputy’s shooting of Maynard.  

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  • jethro

    prayers and sympathies for sheriff crum's family and friends. he is a true heroe and martyr for law abiding citizens everywhere. you couldnt pay me enough to do their jobs.

  • KSapp

    RIP Sheriff Crum. Thank you for your service. My condolences to the family and friends of Sheriff Crum.

  • Debbie

    Sadly, this is probably about the evilness of drugs winning over the goodness in life. It is heart-breaking for the community to see this happen. The sheriff was putting a big dent in the drugs, in this area. This is heartbreaking.

    • Debbie

      from what i am hearing... the shooter was mentally unstable and teh family sought out help for the form of a mental hygiene warrant to get him some help but were turned away... i don't know if this is true. But if so then this tragedy could have been prevented.. Praying for the family and the entire county.

  • TVHS96

    A man died and all some of you idiots want to talk about is gun control.

  • City of Elkins FD

    City of Elkins FD sends condolences to the Family, Friends and Community during this tragic time. As emergency personnel you go to work to help the community and make it safe and never think bad will happen to us........take this time to hug and appreciate your time with family.

  • 2XLPatriot

    Rest in Peace Sheriff Crum and thank you for your service. God bless our Police Officers.

  • rose

    Another West Virginian gone.

    Sympathies to the family, friends and people of Mingo County.

  • Andrew

    Meth is banned. It's illegal for the population to buy, to make, to transport or sell. Yet only a fool would say it is rare.

    How can any restrictions on firearm ownership, that fall far short of a total ban, work any better than banning drugs?

    Sometimes, the bad guys win. Sometimes, good guys are taken by surprise. If the Sheriff saw the fellow approaching, waving a gun, we'd be reading about a dead assailant. But, even so, good guys with guns stopped the bad guy with a gun by shooting him.

  • 2XLPatriot

    How about we enforce the 20,000 plus gun laws already on the books? It can't be done! Adding more laws that obviously can't be enforced will do no good. Bring the death penalty back to West Virginia. Start executing these violent crimminals and watch the crime rates drop. If every citizen was armed and carried concealed, how many crimminals do you think wouldd have the fortitude to continue committing crimes knowing they are evenly matched? Only a few who would quickly realize the error of their decision. Too bad the Police Officers didn't kill this guy....Think of the tax dollars we would have saved.

  • RIP124

    So Billy, if you want to start a debate maybe a softer approach then insulting and name calling everyone in the entire state would help. How about you try again by explaining how any restrictions you support would have prevented this shooting. Now you will be tempted to respond with some wit and not answer the question. Mostly because you know you cant answer it. So the debate is most likely over. By the way, there are already laws that prevent certain criminals from firearm possession.

    • J.R. Skeen

      Certain criminals to use your words. Universal background checks will close loopholes that will contain other certain criminals. Personally, I'd rather stop as many people who aren't qualified to own firearms as possible. That is not too much to ask. And if someone throws this back at me with the "national registry" argument, be reminded the registry exists in the form of background checks already submitted through federally licensed gun stores.

      • RIP124

        Actually "Certain" was Billy's word that I was responding to. So if you are wanting to increase what criminals fall into the "certain" classification I am all for that. I would gladly support a law banning the lawful onwership of a firearm to anyone convicted of a drug related crime for instance. So if there is a national registry that already exists as you state through the background checks that gun stores already follow, how will your universal registry improve this? How will you get the hundreds of millions of guns already out there on the list? How will you get criminals to also put theirs on the list? How will you ever be sure your list is accurate? And most importantly, how would any of this have resulted in the prevention of the murder of our Mingo Co. Sheriff?

        • J.R. Skeen

          Listen genius, you know perfectly well loopholes exist for gun shows and throu unlicensed dealers who seek to skirt the law. And if you don't think that's the case you are either incredibly naieve or just don't care. Either way, people get guns in this country tha shouldn't have them and you damn well know it. By the way, if the argument becomes that we need guns to stop the government if the come to get us, I have but one phrase for you- B-2 Stealth bomber. Try and stop tha with your assault style weapon with its 100 round magazine drum.

          • RIP124

            I guess I am not a genius after all because I am having trouble even understanding what your arguement is??? I do not know of any loopholes at gun shows and I have purchased a gun at a gun show before. Have you ever purchased a gun at a gun show? I am It actually takes longer because of the amount of people and the limited amount of folks on the Gov. end to perform the checks. Now I will give you this. It is very interesting that a gov. background check does not require a SS#. Why do you think that is? I am guessing the same reason ID is not needed to vote. And I never claimed people get guns that should not have them. In fact that is one of the very reasons good people should be allowed to defend theirselves. So I am just wanting to know SPECIFICALLY what you would recommend to magically get all of those guns back out of the bad guys hands and in the hands of our trustworthy government. Lastly, you are the naive one if you think a government cannot turn on its people. Open a history book while you still can. B2, huh. I guess if it gets to that point and I am important enough that they send a B2 for me, I will go down knowing I must have made an impact. In the mean time, there are plenty of other countries out there that have strict gun laws, or bans. Feel free to move if you hate what we were founded on here.

          • Wowbagger

            Instead of an AR-15 I would try a couple of hundred dollar green laser pointer if I wanted to take out a B-2 Stealth Bomber!

            100 round magazines are not reliable and class III assault weapons are pretty uncommon in West Virginia.

  • Hack

    Prayers & sympathies to the family, friends & associates of this officer.

    • Debbie

      Amen to "Hack". Praying for the family of this man.

    • lbennett

      You are the first one that I have seen to actually think of the family instead of if guns would be banned this would not have happened. Some people have lost a loved one and the first thing people blast about is the gun. Any thing can turn into a weapon if placed in the wrong hands. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved in this tragedy.

      • RIP124

        You are absolutely correct and I am sorry I got drawn into the arguements myself. May God bring our good Sheriff home to be with: Sgt. Michael T. May-Monongalia Co. Sheriffs Dept., WV Trooper Eric. M Workman, WV State Police Cpl. Marshall Bailey, and all the fallen LEO of WV, and this country has lost. May God ease the anguish of Sheriff Crum's family and friends. And may he bring justice for all to this tragic murder.

  • WarmMountain

    Billy, criminals don't obey laws like registry of weapons. Background checks only inconvenience law abiding citizens. People who do not obey the law can get a gun any time either from the trunk of somebody's car or stealing it from someone's house. You can pass all the laws you want, but it won't stop criminal behavior.

    • Mac

      Actually they do. I'll have to find the article, but guns seized by LAPD from gang members were legally bought without a background check.

  • Debra

    The bad guy with a gun killed the good guy with a gun. The NRA logic befuddles me. Everyone was born a law abiding citizen!

    • RIP124

      Imagine all the people living life in peace
      You, you may say
      I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
      I hope some day you will join us
      and the world will live as one...

      Wake up Debra! There have been good and bad people since the beginning of time. People found ways to kill each other for thousands of years in recorded history before any gun was ever created. So in your perfect world, where the logic of a persons right to defend themselves is beffuddling, how do you stop the ones you dont believe are bad from killing the ones you dont believe are good. I know, maybe a big plate of pot brownies for everyone...

      • Mac

        Exactly, people have always killed each other. So we make it easier and faster. Legalize guns that can fire 30 shots in seconds. If guns don't kill people why not legalize full automatics. Let's legalize explosives and chemical weapons. After all, they don't do any harm, it's the people that control them.

        • RIP124

          Actually Mac, it is legal to own fully automatic weapons. Either by purchasing a titled one made pre-1986 or by applying for a class III FFL. Dont fall out of your computer chair in your underwear but it is also legal to own a SILENCER!!! In fact, I just ordered one. You also can make explosives out of about 200 things sold at your average home improvement, auto parts, or even grocery store. And yes, most of those things are chemicals that can be weaponized. So I guess we better just make everything illegal. Because making things illegal stops people from having and using those things. Maybe we can model them after the war on drugs laws. They have been amazingly successful.

        • Barney23


          You are an idoit!!!

  • hey Billy

    You are a dumbass.. do you think that they criminals actually BUY the guns legally.. NO! they don't! So what good do additional checks do other than stop the legal people from getting their guns quicker??????

    • Mac

      Yes, they do. They are able to because background checks are not required. If you can legally own a firearm why do you fear a background check? Why do you need a gun NOW? Something tells me that you are not able to legally purchase a firearm yourself.

  • Billy

    So, is it okay to bring the gun and violence debate to West Virginia? Or are we going to play ignorant like the rest of the country already thinks we are... This just isn't something that happens. We cannot and should not ban guns but is it too much to ask to put restrictions and requirements in place to own a fire arm? Universal backgroud checks and required training is a start. Along with certain criminal pasts as ways to block those who cannot handle their 2nd amendment right.

    • Ray

      The gun didn't kill the sheriff, the man holding the gun done the deed, there is so many nuts in West Virginia, Why? people like you talking to much, I don't give a damn what the country thinks of us West Virginia people, if they don't like us, they don't have to move here. We have a Great Law Enforcement in WV. all they need is our support, and my support is 100% behind them, they will solve this by themselves.

    • Barney23

      I would venture to guess the guy ALREADY DID NOT have the right to possess a gun. Why do people believe that by passing gun laws would put a stop to this type of event. What is a law and a piece of paper going to do?

    • mark

      Billy, are you kidding me? do you think the guy that shot the sheriff would have been stopped from buying a gun if we had a universal background check. all these drugs the sheriff was fighting against are illegal, but they are still being bought and sold every day. most guns used by fellons are not purchased legally. the only people hurt by these gun control proposals are lawful citizens. it's not as though criminals are going to turn in their guns because you pass another law. stupid stupid stupid!

    • George

      Now is not the time for a political discussion, it time to mourn a fallen hero

    • jethro

      i doubt the guy got his gun legally .ban guns all you want, the bad guys will get them and your screwed , give me a break

      • Jessica

        The original poster that you are replying to actually said guns SHOULD NOT be banned. And yes drugs are the problem...and people on drugs WITH GUNS are an even bigger problem. So guns may not be the problem but they certainly are part of and play a significant role in the problem! Absolutely, there should be background checks before you can buy a gun! Someone with a violent past or is mentally unstable should not be allowed to own one!

        • Sherry

          I agree! Let's get our heads out of the sand. Some people should NOT have guns.

          • Barney23

            You are right, some people should not have guns, but by passing a law and taking the guns away from the good people will only pave the way for the bad ones to hold on to them. This scum bang has probably already lost his rights to possess guns, but he had one anyway. That is what you are going to see time and time again if you took a deep look at these tragedies, you will find none of these people could legally possess a weapon. So, lets take the second amendment and make criminals out of good people, because they are the only ones that are going to loose in this. They will no longer be able to protect themselves from these type of people.

    • bigbangtheory

      Go away already!

    • David

      Nothing that you suggested would have stopped a guy who wanted to shoot a sheriff from killing him. If you want to use every tragedy to push your agenda at the expense of common courtesy then you go right ahead and be that person.

    • randy


      Here we go again.


      The guy obviously had it out for the man for one reason or another. HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN A GUN ANYWAY or a ROCK for that matter!

      THE PROBLEM IS DRUGS PERIOD. Lefties always wanna ban this and ban that. People need to get off of drugs and do something with their lives.

      lets BAN vehicles. since some people drive under the influence.

      Please guys be smarter than that. A simple stick is a killing device if you place it in the wrong hands.

      • Jim

        Patty, you call this scum bag a "gentleman"?

      • Charleston,WV

        You're absolutely wrong on this one. If we would only legalize more drugs (ie marijuana, cocaine , prescription drugs, etc.) meanwhile banning all weapons from the good and bad then obviously we would not have any violence in the world today and our streets would be much safer. Where is your logic?.....................
        I am just kidding. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Sheriff Crum and his family May God Bless this Man. It sounds like someone had a personal vendetta against this man for him doing his job.

      • amen!

        yes.. drugs are the problems !!!!!!!!!!!