BEECH CREEK, W.Va. — A state police officer was fatally shot Friday in southern West Virginia and a suspect was later arrested, authorities said.
Sergeant Cory Maynard was killed in the shooting, Gov. Jim Justice said in a statement, adding that he was “absolutely heartbroken.” He and First Lady Cathy Justice expressed their condolences to Maynard’s family.
“The brave men and women of law enforcement, and all the first responders who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, are an inspiration to all of us,” Justice said.
Officers responded to a complaint of a shooting in the Beech Creek area of Mingo County and were met with gunshots upon arrival, police said in a statement. Maynard was initially taken to a hospital in Logan.
The suspect, Timothy Kennedy, 29, of Beech Creek, was taken into custody Friday night after an extensive search, state police later said in a brief statement.
No other injuries were reported and further details about the shooting were not immediately made public.
News outlets reported that nearby residents were advised to stay home during the search, and Friday night’s graduation ceremony at Mingo Central High School was postponed.
The shooting occurred in the same county where Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot to death in April 2013 at a spot in Williamson where he used to park his car for lunch. a suspect later was declared incompetent to stand trial and he was ordered committed to a state mental health facility for life.
Mingo and neighboring McDowell County are home to the legendary blood feud between the Hatfield family of West Virginia and the McCoy family of Kentucky.
Mingo County was nicknamed “Bloody Mingo” during the coal mine wars of the early 20th century. ten people were killed in a known 1920s shootout like the “Matewan Massacre”, between miners led by a local police chief and a group of private security guards who were hired to evict miners for joining a union.