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WVa sheriff slaying suspect's dad says son is mentally ill

He said his son was not targeting police in particular and would have shot anyone


By John Raby and Vicki Smith
Associated Press

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — The father of the man suspected of killing a West Virginia sheriff says his son has mental health problems and doesn't have a vendetta against police.

Melvin Maynard said Thursday that his 37-year-old son, Tennis Melvin Maynard, developed mental issues after he was exposed to chemicals on a job in Alabama.

Law enforcement officers and emergency service personnel converge on the scene of the shooting in downtown Williamson, W.Va., Wednesday where Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot and killed at point blank range. (AP Image)
Law enforcement officers and emergency service personnel converge on the scene of the shooting in downtown Williamson, W.Va., Wednesday where Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot and killed at point blank range. (AP Image)

The elder Maynard would not elaborate on what kind of mental health problems his son had. But he says he believes his son would have shot the first person he saw.

Tennis Maynard is accused of fatally shooting Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum on Wednesday in Williamson. A deputy shot Maynard in Delbarton after he crashed his car into a bridge during a chase.

State Police have charged Maynard with attempted murder for allegedly pulling a gun on the deputy.

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