Associated Press

NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — A Maine man killed a sheriff’s deputy, stole his cruiser and robbed a convenience store early Wednesday, triggering an intensive manhunt in a rural town in central Maine.

Aircraft and armored vehicles were seen around Norridgewock and schools were locked down as officers from federal, state and local law enforcement officials search for a 29-year-old man who remained on the loose after abandoning the stolen cruiser, state police told reporters Wednesday.

Somerset County Cpl. Sheriff Eugene Cole was killed at about 1:45 a.m. on U.S. Route 2 in Norridgewock about 60 miles (96 kilometers) west of Bangor, state police said. His cruiser was driven to a Cumberland Farms store, which was robbed.

Several Somerset County officers arrived on scene within 10 minutes and the car was found abandoned shortly after 5 a.m. in another part of the town. It wasn’t known if the man was driving another vehicle.

Police identified the suspect as 29-year-old John Williams, of Madison, Maine. They say he is 5-foot-6, 120 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair in a ponytail.

Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage expressed his “deepest condolences” the Cole’s family in a tweet .

“If you live in Somerset County and the surrounding area, please cooperate with law enforcement and stay safe,” he said.

Thoughts are with the loved ones & colleagues of Corporal Eugene Cole. He was shot & killed in the line of duty this morning. @WMTWTV pic.twitter.com/M6SNvHOaJq

— Tyler Cadorette (@TylerC_WMTW) April 25, 2018

#BREAKING: #Maine officials say sheriff’s deputy shot and killed this morning; Suspect then stole fully-marked sheriff’s cruiser, committed a theft and ditched the car; Suspect still at-large, considered “armed and dangerous” #LiveDesk pic.twitter.com/66PWpvo2vw

— Dan Snyder (@DanSnyderFOX25) April 25, 2018

BREAKING: Maine State Police say it’s all hands on deck right now searching for suspect who shot deputy. Suspect is John Williams of Madison. It is an active manhunt say everyone should be extremely careful. He is considered to be on foot and heavily armed @WGME pic.twitter.com/dZD0rBEBCY

— Lexie O’Connor (@LexieWGME) April 25, 2018

BREAKING Somerset County Deputies say suspect who shot deputy this morning still at large is considered to be armed and extremely dangerous @WGME pic.twitter.com/a8evglv1Ux

— Lexie O’Connor (@LexieWGME) April 25, 2018

BREAKING A source confirms to @WGME that a Somerset County Sheriffs Deputy has been killed. pic.twitter.com/3X3qHLmGBQ

— Lexie O’Connor (@LexieWGME) April 25, 2018

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