Confirmed: Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy Shot + Killed

Confirmed: Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy Shot + Killed

Confirmed: Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy Shot + Killed

A massive manhunt is underway for an "armed and extremely dangerous" man wanted for fatally shooting a ME sheriff's deputy and stealing his cruiser early Wednesday morning.

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said Cole was a veteran member of the department.

During a press conference Wednesday, a sheriff's office spokesman described Cole as an "outstanding employee" and "one of the finest deputies you'd ever want to meet".

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"Police are searching for 29-year-old John Williams of Madison".

The cruiser was located around 5 a.m. Williams remains at large and is considered armed and extremely risky. That cruiser was later found abandoned and a manhunt is underway for a Madison man. His cruiser was driven to a Cumberland Farms store, which was robbed. Eugene Cole and stole his cruiser. The pictures were captured by the dashboard of Cole's cruiser.

A massive nationwide manhunt is underway, involving ME law enforcement agencies, as well as members of the U.S. Marshal's Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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"This is a very sad day for for the Somerset County Sheriff's Office, the city, the county and the people of the state of Maine", Lancaster said.

The five-foot, six-inch suspect has blue eyes with brown hair that's shaved on the sides and in a ponytail on top. Williams allegedly robbed the store and then took off in the vehicle. Multiple units were on the scene where Cole was killed Wednesday morning, spurring several schools in Oakland, Waterville, Winslow and Norridgewock to go into lockdown, media outlets reported.

Gov. Paul LePage offered his support to Maine's law enforcement community as the manhunt continued through the state's central region.

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