Breaking News: First Maine Police Officer Since 1989 Shot & Killed on Duty
UPDATE: The Somerset County Sheriff's Department has identified Corporal Eugene Cole as the officer shot and killed early this morning in Norridgewock.
According to officials at a press conference this morning, a suspect identified as 29-year-old John Williams allegedly shot corporal Cole early this morning in Norridgewock, and then stole his police cruiser after killing the officer. The suspect then drove the cruiser to the Cumberland Farms gas station in Norridgewock and robbed the store. He later abandoned the cruiser and is currently at large.
This suspect is on the loose, and considered by police to be armed and extremely dangerous. The FBI is reportedly on the scene, and officials have launched a national alert and a manhunt to find the perpetrator. Williams is described as 5'6" with a ponytail and blue eyes.
According to officials at the press conference, Corporal Cole served the Somerset County Sheriff's Department for 13 years, and is survived by a son.
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News Center Maine is reporting that a Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy has been shot and killed in the line of duty, and is the first on-duty Maine law enforcement officer to die as a result of a gunshot in 29 years. Multiple news organizations are also reporting that the suspect is on the loose.
The Somerset County Sheriff's office has told the Morning Sentinel via phone this morning that one of its deputies was killed in Norridgewock while responding to a robbery, but provided few other details. More information is expected after 9:30am, when the department will hold a press conference.
Police have closed Mill Stream Elementary in Norridgewock for the day today, according to the Superintendents' Office. Route 2 is also reportedly closed. Maine state troopers with long rifles were also seen at the location of the shooting.
WGME is reporting that the FBI is sending assistance to the scene in Norridgewock, and the Maine State Police are expected to participate as well.
According to News Center Maine, the last Maine law enforcement officer to die in a shooting was Giles Landry in 1989, 29 years ago.
This story will be updated.