A man who shot and killed a sheriff's deputy then used his police car to rob a convenience store is still on the run in rural Maine. He's considered armed and dangerous, Fox 29 reports, noting that official records show no Maine officer has been killed in the line of duty in 29 years.
John Williams, 29, reportedly killed Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday morning in Norridgewock before using Cole's cruiser to drive to a nearby Cumberland Farms gas station he subsequently robbed. Officers arrived on the scene of the robbery within 10 minutes, but Williams had already fled. He would later abandon the vehicle in another part of town, where it was discovered just after 5 a.m.
Williams is still on the loose, and it's unknown whether he is traveling by foot or has stolen another car. Norridgewock has plenty of densely wooded areas where the suspect may easily be hiding. Schools were locked down Wednesday as officials tried to locate him. "Many times we're able to say that there is not an ongoing threat, but that's not the case today," State Police Lt. Col. John Cote said. "There certainly is an ongoing public threat. He's considered armed and dangerous."
Williams was arrested last month for carrying a firearm without a license and possession of a large-capacity firearm. He was scheduled to appear in court in Massachusetts on Wednesday and was set to face up to 10 years in prison.
“We have lost an outstanding deputy today who has served with great distinction for the last 13 years,” Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said of Cpl. Cole. “He was one of the finest deputies you would want to meet.” Cole's son, David, also works at the department.