The chill in the air on the morning of April 25, 2024, is fitting as Maine remembers two sad anniversaries of good people gunned down far too soon.  

There Are a Lot of Happy Anniversaries, But Today Is About Sadness

Anniversaries are supposed to be happy days, filled with memories of love and achievement. Weddings, graduations, and ‘gotcha’ days for our adopted pets. But this day marks two tragic chapters in Maine’s history that are, instead, filled with anger and despair.  

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It's Been 6 Years Since Maine Lost a Respected Member of Law Enforcement

On April 25th, 2018, Somerset County Sheriff’s Corporal Eugene Cole was on routine patrol when he came across John Williams, a man he knew was out on bond for a previous weapons charge. Corporal Cole stopped to talk to Williams and was shot and killed along Route 2 in Norridgewock. Williams stole Cole’s fully marked patrol car and drove it to a nearby store, which he robbed before fleeing into the night. After a 4-day manhunt that brought members of state and federal law enforcement from around the country and Canada, Williams was apprehended. In 2019, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.  

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Sergeant Eugene Cole was a United States Army Veteran and served with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years. He is survived by his wife of 41 years and four sons, one of whom also serves with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.  

6 Months Ago, Many People Lost Their Lives in a Mass Shooting

On October 25th, 2023, Andrew Card walked into the Just in Time Recreation Bowling Alley in Lewiston and started shooting before heading to Schemengees Bar and Grill, where he again opened fire. Someone turned out the lights, which ended the violence. Card fled into the night, leaving 18 deceased victims behind and many wounded.  

The manhunt for Card lasted two days before he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a trailer. He left behind more questions than answers about why then, why there, and why them. Questions that may never be fully answered. 

As you go about your day, remember the lives lost. While the cold breeze reminds us of our losses, let’s hope the sunshine brings brighter days.  

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