Wed., 4:21pm: W.Va. sheriff fatally shot, suspect in custody
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — A sheriff known for cracking down on the drug trade in southern West Virginia’s coalfields was fatally shot Wednesday in the spot where he usually parked his car for lunch, a state official said, and a suspect was in custody.
State Police told Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum died of his wounds, said his chief of staff Rob Alsop. The suspect, who was also shot, was taken to a hospital in Logan, Alsop said.
The courthouse was evacuated, streets into the city were blocked off and officers held white sheets around the crime scene, Crum’s body further shielded by two vehicles.
The shooting occurred within a block of the county courthouse, said Office of Emergency Services head dispatcher Willis Spence. Officials planned a news conference for 6 p.m. in the county in the southwest corner of West Virginia, on the border with Kentucky.
Delegate Harry Keith White, who campaigned with Crum last year, said his friend was shot to death in the same place where he parked his car most days to eat lunch, near the site of a former pharmacy known for illegally distributing pills.
Crum led a drug task force and an initiative called Operation Zero Tolerance, making good on a campaign pledge, White said.