For the past four days, a massive state-wide manhunt has been underway for John Williams, a fugitive wanted for the murder of Officer Eugene Cole who was killed in the line of duty. Authorities believe Williams killed Officer Cole around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. He then stole his patrol car and committed an armed robbery at a nearby convenience store. The manhunt is finally over.
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Williams was captured outside campgrounds in Norridgewock, Maine, at 12:43 p.m. Saturday evening by a seven-member team. The 29-year-old was then placed in Officer Cole’s handcuffs and brought to the Waterville jail for holding, the New York Times reported.
“I can tell you that I’m extremely relieved we have Williams in custody. I can tell you that I’m extremely saddened by the death of my deputy.” Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said.
Lt. Col. John Cote, an officer present during the arrest, said Williams offered “limited resistance” when captured. Williams will be questioned over what exactly happened last Wednesday that resulted in the death of Officer Cole.
When asked for additional information regarding the arrest, officials presiding over the investigation said, “Today is not the day.” They will announce more in-depth details on the investigation in the coming week.
The people of Somerset County have been on high alert for the past four days. There have been random checkpoints and a heavy police presence. “Tonight the citizens of Somerset County can sleep well knowing that a dangerous man has been taken off the streets,” Sheriff Lancaster said following the arrest.
According to WCVB, the community came to the assistance of law enforcement involved in the search, bringing food and other goods to the fire station to be disseminated to those participating in the manhunt.
The Maine State Police’s social media alerted the community the second Williams was captured, posting a photo of him laying down in handcuffs with dirt on his face.
Williams is due in court next week. Police plan to question Williams then. For now, Lancaster said, “We can focus on laying our fallen brother to rest.”