Longtime friend and Williamson lawyer Tim Koontz said Crum was able to see both sides of the legal system because of his work as a police officer and magistrate.
"He followed not only the letter of the law, he carried both the sword and the shield," Koontz said. He said Crum was concerned with protecting the public, and also with protecting the rights of the accused.
"The fact that they brought out [Maynard] alive is testament to the training they had, and the insistence he had that they do things right. Gene would have wanted it that way."
Koontz said Crum began investigating Mingo County's drug scene even before he was elected sheriff. He hit the ground running, organizing a major drug sting not long after taking office.
"Gene was politically blind when it came to arresting people," Koontz said. He said it didn't matter if a suspect was the relative of a police officer or a local politician, "He got them all."
Marcum said in a statement the work Crum did for Mingo County 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," Marcum said, "and I ask all of you to do the same."
'I respected that guy'
Kanawha County Magistrate Kim Aaron, who attended magistrate school with Crum, said she is devastated by the news of Crum's death.
"I feel like somebody has punched me in the stomach," she said.
Aaron said Crum gave up his magistrate's seat to run for sheriff. "He wanted to clean up Mingo County," she said. "I respected that guy immensely."
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said in a statement, "It's shocking any time a law enforcement officer is killed. I've spoken to Col. [C.R. Jay] Smithers, and the West Virginia State Police will be leading the investigation into the matter.
"I've pledged the assistance of my office and other federal investigative agencies as such assistance is needed."
At Wednesday's news conference, Rockel was joined by the entire sheriff's department on the Mingo County Courthouse steps, asking for prayers for Crum's family.
"We lost a good man today," Rockel said through tears.
Rockel declined to take questions about the shooting because he said it is under investigation. He did not name the suspect but said he was being questioned by the State Police.
Mingo County Commission President John Mark Hubbard said another news conference will be held at the courthouse at 3 p.m. today. A candlelight vigil will be held there at 8 tonight.
"To say Eugene will be missed is a vast understatement," Hubbard said.
Hubbard said a fund has been created at Community Trust Bank to benefit Crum's family.
The last time an officer was shot in the line of duty in Mingo County was Chattaroy Police Constable Fitchue Bee Barker, who was killed in September 1967, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page website.
Mingo County Deputy Flem Johnson was shot and killed on April 20, 1946, according to the site. Matewan police officer Raymond Charles Perkins was shot on June 14, 1959 during a traffic stop, slipping into a coma from which he never recovered.
Most recently, on Aug. 28, 2012, West Virginia State Police Trooper Eric Workman and Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey were shot in the line of duty.
The website says 197 West Virginia police officers have died in the line of duty, 136 of them from deliberate gunfire.
More than 100 reflections remembering Crum had been left on the site as of Wednesday night.
Staff writers Phil Kabler, Eric Eyre and Kathryn Gregory contributed to this report.
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.