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Manhunt still underway for cop killer in Maine

Police are still searching for 29-year-old John Williams, who is accused of killing a Somerset County officer, stealing his patrol car and then robbing a convenience store. (Image source: Maine State Police video screenshot)

Police in Maine are still on the lookout for a man who fatally shot a police officer and stole his patrol car. The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old John Williams.

The Maine State Police described him in an Instagram post as “5’6” 120 lbs, brown hair, with sides that are shaved, with a ponytail on top and blue eyes.”

What is the police saying?

Police warn anyone who sees him to call 911 and not try to approach him on their own. He is still considered to be armed and dangerous.

“Many times we’re able to say there is not an ongoing threat. That is not the case today. There certainly is an ongoing public threat.”

Maine police also said:

“We have been following up on numerous leads throughout the day. There has been a large contingency of officers from different law enforcement disciplines working leads. If anyone knows the whereabouts of John Williams, please give us a call.”

Maine State Police have put out a nationwide alert, although they have been focusing much of their search on a few towns in Maine. Maine State Police are also coordinating with the Maine Warden Service and county and local agencies, as well as with the FBI. They have also revealed that air support is being used to try to locate Williams.

What happened?

Just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, Williams fatally shot Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole, 62, and stole Cole’s patrol car. While he was still in possession of the patrol car, Williams drove to a Cumberland Farms convenience store and robbed it, using the patrol car as his getaway car.

By 5 a.m., Williams had ditched the patrol car. Police say that he is now most likely on foot, and that they have no reason to believe that he has acquired another car.

Police had arrested Williams on March 22, but he posted his $5,000 bail on March 31 and walked free. He was due to appear in court on Wednesday for a routine hearing.

Williams was arrested for possession of an unlicensed handgun and a high-capacity ammunition feeding device for a gun. Williams pled not guilty.

Cole — who had been on the force for 13 years — is the 45th police officer to die in the line of duty in the United States this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington,  the Boston Globe reported.

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