Man accused of killing Maine police officer arrested, ending 4-day manhunt

Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-28 20:50:06-04

By Jason Hanna and Shawn Nottingham, CNN

Police in central Maine arrested a man accused of killing a police officer this week, ending a four-day manhunt, a sheriff said Saturday afternoon.

John Williams, 29, of Madison, Maine, was captured, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said, following a searchthat authorities said encompassed 25 square miles of largely remote wilderness.

Maine State Police tweeted that they took Williams into custody early Saturday afternoon.

Details about how Williams was found weren’t immediately available. A $20,000 reward had been offered for information leading to his capture, the FBI said.

Maine State Police posted a photo of Williams on social media showing him shortly after his arrest, shirtless and with his head pulled back in order to face the camera.

They explained the photo by saying: “At the time of his arrest the team needed to confirm his identity with Unified Command. Williams would not present his face for the photo, and the arrest team needed to facilitate the picture.”

Williams was uninjured, police said.

Investigators believe Williams shot and killed Cpl. Eugene Cole sometime between 1 and 2 a.m. Wednesday in the town of Norridgewock, authorities said.

Williams then drove Cole’s squad vehicle to a convenience store in the same town and committed a theft there, Maine State Police said. Authorities released surveillance images they said show Williams walking out of the store.

The suspect had been scheduled to appear Wednesday in a Massachusetts court related to a March 22 arrest on suspicion of having a gun without a license.

The officer’s vehicle was found abandoned Wednesday morning off a road in Norridgewock, state police said.