Mingo County, WV voters went a long way in trying to clean up their county last Fall when they elected Eugene Crum as sheriff. After only 3 months on the job Sheriff Crum had started making good on his campaign promise of cleaning up crime - specifically drug crime.
Sadly, Sheriff Crum was shot and killed yesterday while eating lunch in his car. Police are still working on details but they believe that the Sheriff was shot four times before fleeing the shooter fled the scene.
Tennis Melvin Maynard, 37, led police on a short chase that ended in Delbarton, WV. According to the WV State Police, Maynard exited the vehicle with a weapon and was shot multiple times by a deputy. State troopers are investigating the scene of Maynard's shooting and city police are investigating the scene of Crum's shooting.
A candlelight vigil will be held tonight at 8:00pm in memory of Crum. The Williamson Daily News is reporting that Sheriff Crum's widow, Rosie Crum, has been named to replace her husband and will be sworn in tonight at the vigil.
The Washington Post is reporting that Maynard's father, Melvin Maynard, is saying his son was exposed to harmful chemicals and injured while working at an Alabama coal mine. He most likely did not target Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum, according to the elder Maynard.
“I know he was off. I know he should have been in a hospital,” the father said, adding that his son had previously been in an institution. He refused to elaborate, saying only that “the same problem was eating him again.”
Whatever the motive, one thing is for sure...drug dealers and addicts in Southern WV probably feel less worried than they did on Monday. And that's sad news for us all.
God bless the Crum family!