On Wednesday, Walter Eugene Crum, Sheriff of Mingo County, West Virginia, was shot dead while eating lunch in his patrol car just a few blocks from the Mingo County Courthouse. The suspect, Tennis Melvin Maynard, age 37, fled the scene after shooting the sheriff twice at point blank range. He was captured and arrested a few miles away after being injured in a gunfight with police officers. He is expected to survive his injuries.
Sheriff Crum, who has only been in office since January, had already established a reputation in West Virginia for being tough on drug dealers.
West Virginia State Police Sergeant Michael Baylous said that the suspect spoke with the police as he was being driven to the hospital after his capture, but those conversations did not clearly identify a motive. “He said some things to us, and we’re still trying to make sense of it. It could be interpreted in different ways.”
Mingo County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Randy Hatfield said that he hoped Crum’s slaying was not related to the recent slayings of either Colorado Corrections Department Chief Tom Clements or Kaufman County Texas District Attorney Mike McClelland and his wife.