Matewan, WV – A West Virginia State Police (WVSP) sergeant was ambushed and murdered on Friday night while responding to a report of a shooting.
Investigators said the initial shooting occurred in the 4000-block of Beech Creek Road at about 3:30 p.m. on June 2, WSAZ reported.
When 37-year-old WVSP Sergeant Cory Maynard and two other officers arrived at the scene, they immediately came under attack, according to FOX News.
Officials said the suspect, 29-year-old Timothy Kennedy, ambushed the officers and mortally wounded Sgt. Maynard.
The sergeant was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, FOX News reported.
West Virginia State Police Sergeant Cory Maynard was a 15 year veteran dedicated to keeping people safe. Shot and killed as he answered a call about a shooting, Sergeant Maynard’s murder underscores the unceasing dangers faced by law enforcement. His family and fellow cops are in… pic.twitter.com/SPLzUQzOWJ
— Bill Bratton (@CommissBratton) June 5, 2023
Police also found the initial victim, 39-year-old Benjamin Adam Baldwin, suffering from a gunshot wound, WSAZ reported.
Investigators said Kennedy had shot Baldwin with a rifle.
Baldwin was rushed to a local hospital and was listed in serious but stable condition on Saturday, WSAZ reported.
Law enforcement officers flooded the area in the wake of Sgt. Maynard’s murder and launched a massive search for his killer.
West Virginia State Police Sgt. Cory Maynard was shot and killed in an ambush this afternoon.
The suspect—29-year-old Timothy Kennedy is still at large. Anyone with information is asked to notify the State Police – 304-746-2158. pic.twitter.com/UQSfiiDt7U
— Law Enforcement Legal Defense (@LELDF) June 3, 2023
Residents were told Kennedy was armed and dangerous and to take shelter inside their homes, WSAZ reported.
Schools were placed on lockdown status and the Mingo Central High School graduation ceremony was postponed until the following morning as a result of the manhunt, according to the news outlet.
Local resident Harriet Cisco said she was at home when a man knocked on her front door and asked her for pop, WSAZ reported.
Cisco said she went and contacted police, but that when she looked outside to see if the man was still there, she realized her car was missing.
“We called [the police] back later when we realized the car was gone and that he was in the car and we gave them the description of the car,” she told WSAZ.
WVSP Lieutenant Colonel B.L. Mankins said police spotted the stolen vehicle at about 10 p.m.
“We received word there was a stolen vehicle nearby the area where we last had contact with him,” Lt. Col. Mankins told WSAZ. “As fate would have it, the stolen vehicle came toward our command post at a high rate of speed. When he got to the command post, the troopers on scene determined it was the suspect in the shooting earlier today, and he was taken into custody at that point.”
Kennedy has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Sgt. Maynard, FOX News reported.
He was ordered to be held without bond at Southwestern Regional Jail, according to the New York Post.
A procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted the slain sergeant’s body from Logan Regional Medical Center to the state medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston, according to WSAZ.
RIP. West Virginia Sergeant Cory Maynard was murdered when he was shot and killed in an ambush attack while responding to a shooting call. STOP SHOOTING MY POLICE OFFICERS!!! #rip #hero #murdered #eow #SergeantCoryMaynard #WestVirginiaStatePolice #thinblueline #bluelivesmatter pic.twitter.com/XjmClUExne
— Protecting the Blue (@protectingblue) June 3, 2023
“We join with all West Virginians in grief at the loss of State Police Sgt. Cory Maynard, who was shot and fatally wounded in the line of duty earlier today,” U.S. Attorney Will Thompson told WSAZ in a statement on Friday night.
“Throughout this district, our state and our nation, the men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of us all. Today’s tragedy is a grim reminder of the dangers inherent in that sacred task,” Thompson continued. “Sgt. Maynard proved himself an outstanding example of selfless service and dedication to his community, and we mourn alongside our state and the law enforcement community.”
Sgt. Maynard served the WVSP for 15 years.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice ordered flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of Sgt. Maynard’s service and sacrifice, WSAZ reported.
“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 in a statement. “I again ask all West Virginians to join Cathy and I in embracing Trooper Maynard’s family, loved ones, and all of our courageous West Virginians in uniform during this incredibly difficult time.”
Sgt. Maynard leaves behind his wife and his two children, ages nine and 13, WSAZ reported.
A fundraising page established to help his family in the wake of their loss has raised more than $38,000 so far.