West Virginia Sheriff Assassinated? (Updated)

The Sheriff of West Virginia’s Mingo County, Walter “Eugene” Crum, died after being shot twice in the head today while eating lunch in his marked SUV parked outside of the Williamstown, WV courthouse.

The assailant, 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, has been accused in the killing. Maynard was taken into custody after a brief police chase that ended with him receiving multiple gunshot wounds after he exited his wrecked vehicle and raised his weapon, believed to be a handgun, at a sheriff’s deputy.

He spoke with police sometime after being taken into custody. He remains at the hospital, receiving treatment for gunshot wounds. According to West Virginia State Police First Sergeant Michael Baylous, ”He said some things to us, and we’re still trying to make sense of it…It could be interpreted in different ways.”

This may have been an assassination, possibly tied to other recent judicial system killings, but details are still emerging.

Sheriff Crum had taken office in January, and was somewhat of a local hero, gaining a reputation for being tough on drug dealers. He also served as a special investigator for the prosecutor’s office and as a county magistrate. He was married, and had children and grandchildren who survive him.

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