MINGO COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — Residents of the Beech Creek Road area of Mingo County said the area is normally pretty quiet and peaceful, but it was anything but that on Friday night.
Sgt. Cory Maynard with the West Virginia State Police was killed in the Beech Creek Road area near Matewan and Mudlick, and a 39-year-old man was also shot by the suspect, 29-year-old Timothy Kennedy.
Kennedy was taken into custody after being on the loose for more than six hours on Friday evening.
“Cops everywhere. I mean I seen State Troopers all going down,” neighbor Brenda Johnson said.
“What I heard is a bunch of sirens, and I got a scanner, and I would listen to it, and they was dispatching all kinds of officers, going down,” neighbor Sonny Johnson said.
These residents witnessed dozens of police cars flying down Beech Creek Road, trying to catch Kennedy, who was considered armed and dangerous, and providing aid to the two victims of the shooting.
“When you see officers like that, that many officers especially, you know there’s something really serious. You really kind of put your head in there and lock your doors, and that’s what I did,” Sonny Johnson said.
Residents said knowing two men were shot down the road from where they live was hard to wrap their heads around.
“We noticed out the window here officers were walking up the road with firearms drawn, and they also had a checkpoint out here. I’ll put it this way, I don’t want it to happen again. It’s something to really think about,” Sonny Johnson said.
Some neighbors said they personally know the suspect Timothy Kennedy and are shocked by what happened Friday evening. Others did not know him but said they know the 39-year-old victim and are sad to hear he is still in the hospital two days later.
“He’s well-liked in this area. He’s done odd jobs for people. He’s a real good person,” neighbor Brenda Johnson said.
Many residents echoed the message that while they did not personally know Sgt. Maynard, they knew it took a great amount of bravery to respond to the initial shooting.
That’s why Sonny Johnson decided to display his flag in his yard at half-staff this weekend.
“I believe the flag should be at half-staff everywhere because of him, his position and everything,” Sonny Johnson said.
As the shock and heartache settles in, residents said it will take time for their community to heal.