WILLIAMSON — Following the shooting death of Mingo County Sheriff, Eugene Crum, local, state and national officials have offered statements regarding the shocking tragedy:
Harry Keith White, House Finance Chairman:
“It is with sadness today that I hear about the tragic death of my friend, the Sheriff of Mingo County, Eugene Crum,” White said. “I have known Eugene for many years, first as the Chief of Police in Delbarton and then, prior to his election as sheriff, as a magistrate for the past 12 years.
“As a magistrate, he was instrumental and aggressive in setting up a drug task force with various local police departments which in most people’s opinion, was doing a terrific job of cleaning up drugs in the county. Drugs are a terrible plague and scourge facing much of Southern West Virginia but at least here in Mingo County, Eugene was working very hard to eradicate this problem prior to becoming the sheriff but had stayed aggressive in his pursuit in stopping pill mills around the county.
“This horrendous crime happened in broad daylight near the Mingo County Courthouse at a spot where the Sheriff would frequently eat his lunch and observe a pill mill which had recently been shut down. I am shocked and saddened at this tragic turn of events and am praying for the comfort of his wife and family he leaves behind.
“Sheriff Crum was an outstanding West Virginian, Mingo Countian, husband, father, grandfather and friend who will be sorely missed by all he touched. To think he could be gunned down in broad daylight highlights the dangerous position our men and women in law enforcement place themselves in day after day.
“I pray for him and his family to find some peace in this time of unspeakable loss and tragedy and offer whatever assistance I can avail of myself to them. Not only is this a great loss for Mingo County but also a great loss for all of West Virginia. God Bless Sheriff Eugene Crum.”
Justin Marcum, West Virginia Delegate (D-20):
“I’m saddened to say that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum has been shot and killed today,” Marcum said. “Over the past few years I’ve had the honor of working closely with Sheriff Crum, first as a magistrate and just this year as the sheriff. As an Assistant Prosecutor, I have to say Eugene was one of the best sheriffs I have ever dealt with.
“Sheriff Crum has dedicated his career to stopping the drug problem in Mingo County by establishing a drug task force and working closely with local police departments. His strong work ethic is best exemplified by eating lunch in his car every day just to observe a pill mill that had been shut down a few years ago to make sure it did not open its doors again. Unfortunately, this unselfish act became the scene at which he was killed in broad daylight.
“As a fellow Mingo County resident, I can say the work Eugene did for this county will not perish and will be remembered for years to come. Now is the time to come together as a community and be there for one another – to remember and honor Eugene Crum.
“I will continue to pray for him and his family in their time of need, and I ask all of you to do the same.”
Nick Rahall, U.S. Representative (D-W.Va):
“Today, our hearts go out to Sheriff Crum’s wife, Rosie, his entire family, the staff of the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department, and his countless friends all across the area,” Rahall said. “Dedicated law enforcement officers throughout our Nation mourn the loss of one of their own. Though Sheriff Crum had just begun his term, he was not new to the cause of justice, and, from day one as Sheriff, he hit the ground running with vigor and determination.
“Eugene’s dedication to fairness and a full measure of justice for all is well known. Every law-abiding citizen demands justice for this tragedy that has shaken our sense of decency, but not our resolve, to maintain law and order. In the coming days, I ask that we continue to remember Rosie and her family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Jay Rockefeller, U.S. Senator (D-W.Va.):
“This is tragic and truly awful news coming out of Mingo County today,” Rockefeller said. “I am heartbroken for Sheriff Crum’s family. Sharon and I are keeping them in our prayers today, as is all of West Virginia.”
Joe Manchin, U.S. Senator (D-W.Va.):
“Gayle and I join all West Virginians in praying for Sheriff Crum’s wife, Rosie, and his family,” Manchin said. “Mingo County lost a longtime public servant today and our hearts are broken from this horrific tragedy. My friend Sheriff Crum dedicated his life to serving the people of Mingo County and making southern West Virginia a safer place. He will be dearly missed. In memory of Sheriff Crum, let us never forget that our law enforcement and first responders selflessly put their lives on the line for West Virginians every day. We ask that all West Virginians keep Sheriff Crum’s family and friends in their thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time.”
Wayne T. Rutherford, Judge-Executive of Pike County:
“Along with Pike County Sheriff, Charles “Fuzzy” Keesee, District Six Magistrate, Chris Harris and all our local officials, I am shocked and saddened to hear of the senseless assassination of Mingo County, Sheriff Eugene Crum,” Rutherford said. “The people of the Tug Valley are united in mourning this loss regardless of which side of the river they live on. Our prayers and genuine sorrow are with Sheriff Crum’s family and the people of Mingo County.”
This article will be updated as statements are released.