A state police officer was fatally shot Friday in southern West Virginia, and a suspect was later arrested, authorities said.
Sgt. 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 extended their sympathies to Maynard’s family.
“The brave men and women of law enforcement, and all first responders who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, are an inspiration to us all,” Justice said.
Officers responded to a complaint of a shooting in the Beech Creek area of Mingo County and were met with gunfire upon arrival, police said in a statement. Maynard initially was taken to a hospital in Logan.
The suspect, Timothy Kennedy, 29, of Beech Creek, was taken into custody Friday night following an extensive search, state police said later in a brief statement.
The Mingo County School District announced on Facebook that a high school graduation ceremony scheduled for Friday night was postponed for safety reasons because of the manhunt for the suspect. During the search, residents in the Beach Creek community were told to shelter-in-place, the school district said.
The district later said that the graduation had been rescheduled for Saturday “out of respect” for the fallen officer.
No other injuries were reported, and further details on the shooting were not immediately made public. Justice ordered all flags statewide be flown at half-staff in honor of Maynard.
The shooting happened in the same county where Sheriff Eugene Crumin April 2013 in a spot in Williamson where he usually parked his car for lunch. A suspect later was found incompetent to stand trial and was ordered to be 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 dubbed “Bloody Mingo” during the early 20th century coal mine wars. Ten people were killed in a 1920 gunbattle known as the “Matewan Massacre,” between miners led by a local police chief and a group of private security guards who were hired to evict the miners for joining a union.
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