Fugitive accused of fatally shooting ME deputy captured alive following dayslong manhunt

Saul Bowman
April 29, 2018

The manhunt for John Williams, suspected of shooting Sheriff's Deputy Corporal Eugene Cole is over, with the 29-year-old taken into custody, and placed in Corporal Cole's handcuffs.

Police are on their third day searching for 29-year-old John Williams in and around the heavily wooded rural community of Norridgewock, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) west of Bangor.

After the shooting between 1 and 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Williams allegedly stole Cole's cruiser and drove it to a Cumberland Farms gas station, where he committed an armed robbery before fleeing the scene. Officers captured and arrested him at 12:43 p.m. Saturday. The FBI had also announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to Williams' capture.

Shirtless and shoeless, Williams appeared to be exhausted when he was led out of the woods Saturday. Detectives were seen taking Williams out of a wooded area behind a red, Cape Cod-style house, the paper reported.

On Friday, flowers, a flag, artwork and a portrait of Cole decorated a construction crane at the top of Upper Main Street in Norridgewock, just yards from where the slain deputy's body was found.

Williams was wanted in the fatal shooting this week of Cpl.

"Many times we are able to say there is not an ongoing threat - that is not the case today", said Maine State Police Lt. Col. John Cote told reporters Wednesday.

Speaking at a briefing at the Norridgewock Fire Station Saturday, police said they had received 13 calls from the public over night about possible suspicious activity related to Williams' whereabouts and hundreds of calls in response to the $20,000 reward offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for information leading to Williams' arrest.

The team of law enforcement officers who found and captured fugitive John Williams. Lancaster says police will be questioning Williams over the next few days. Mr. Williams, be assured you'll be treated the same way Corporal Cole would have treated you, if you had given him the opportunity, with dignity and respect. Even after all you have put us through, this is all we are asking of you. "Please reach out to us, and let's start that communication".

Corporal Eugene Cole was a 13-year veteran with the Somerset County Sheriff's Office who has been described as a good man and someone who was always looking for ways to help others.

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