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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  • Old Miner

    Say what you want about guns back ground checks gun training but will not make it safer here in sounthern WV but drug testing people on walfare or any of the programs that most of the pill heads are on would make a real big impact , they would leave or clean up and go to work , or make the drug people work 12 hours a day 7 days a week Hard Labor instead of keeping the in a counrty club like resort. I here them say that jail is not that bad just can,t smoke there.

  • Lloyd

    Dealth Penaty is what need, then another killer will be off the streets. Too bad the cops only wounded him. They need to practice more.

  • RHytonen

    Just two things:

    1. ALL guns start out legally procured.

    2. A gun that doesn't exist can't kill anyone.

    • Lloyd

      A gun dosen't kill people, people kill people.
      Cain killed Abel and he didn't own a gun.

  • mike

    P.S.....condolences to the family

  • mike

    It comes down to has little to do with the fact of drugs being legal or not. And yes there may be some ppl that never thought of using before that start because they would be legal but just like every other aspect of being human IT COMES DOWN TO CHOICE. Ppl make choices with consequences every day. This should be another one. Budget shortfalls would be a thing of the past and natural selection would weed out the bad apples. Instead of saying you want to put gps in my car and tax me for miles driven in a given year to raise road $. Just legalize and tax drugs. JUST CALL IT A USER FEE

  • mike

    If drugs are the issue here as everywhere else I've got the solution. Just legalize them! Tax them and sell them like bath salts. Set aside some of the tax for funerals and let them have at it. Think of all the problems this would solve. Billions of $ across the country!! Less law enforcement expenditures... less robberies...lower insurances rates. Obviously law enforcement can't stop ppl who want drugs and its big business. Have a poor mans cementary to plant over doses and be done with it.

  • cutty77

    Why didn't the Cops Kill the guman.Now we have to pay for this Crackhead in Jail.

  • Shadow

    No one has clearly stated the motive of the killer but it was definitely, the bad guys after the good guys. The problem about the current gun control game is that it can turn into the same type of game, except, the good guys with guns and the bad guys who want to register and confiscate them. The Gun Control Crowd is running on what could become a very slippery slope. i would like to see a cease and desist situation and go with what has brought us Freedom for over 200 years. Be careful what you wish for. My condolences to his family and I hope this situation is not repeated.

  • Glenn

    I don't know where we lost the handle on this but there seem to be a hell of a lot of people out there that just have no respect for human life. I'm convinced that drugs have a lot to do with it, but that's only part of the problem.
    People just don't seem to give a damn about things like manners, civil discourse or just showing respect for your neighbors. Take a walk through WalMart sometime and listen to the F-bombs being dropped around with no regard for little kids or women standing nearby. Heck half the f-bombs are being dropped by women.
    It just seems like the country is rotting from the inside out. God bless guys like Sheriff Crum. They're the only thing keeping us from total chaos.

  • DWL

    Now the question becomes, does this intimidate to other local law enforcement officers and officials? When are the liberal leftists going to pull the lump attached to their shoulders from the rectal storage facility, look at the real world, and stop playing games with this trash. The stupid administration of this state has failed to step to the forefront and condemn a TV show in which one drunken cast member kills himself and several others; another is incarcerated on heroin & narcotic charges, and a third for DUI. Great reputation the state has embellished. From Martinsburg being the number 3 cocaine mecca, and now heroin gateway of the US to the Kanawha valley meth factories. Nice travel brochure they’ve developed through political stupidity.

  • pc

    RIP sheriff - - -I wonder if the suspect has a criminal record, was on "probation", released early, etc. I wonder if this is just the tip of the ice berg since our legislators, in attempting to reduce our prison population and save $$$$$$ are planning on thowing hundreds of prisoners, including many in on drug charges back out on our streets. Oh, yeah, we're goina "rehabilitate" them. Someone had better be monitoring the recidivism rate because if something like this happens again and the perp is an early releasee, I hope to hell the vic's family sues the crap out of the state, and personally Tomlin, Thompson, Kessler, et. al.

  • JimB

    I find it interesting we have had millions of guns in this country for many, many years and now those same guns have decided to begin killing young children and people from all walks of life. What do you suppose made the guns change their minds?

    My heartfelt condolences to the sheriff's family, friends and citizens of Mingo County and West Virginia.

  • M.D. Rice

    What is wrong with some of you people? A man is dead. He was eating his lunch, for God's sake. Take your diatribe on gun control somewhere else, it is completely inappropriate here.

  • lee arthur

    Hey people , gun laws mean nothing to thugs and nut cases. There are probably more guns on the black market then any of us will know about.

  • Support Education

    Prayers to the family of Sheriff Crum.