Police Search For Suspect Who Allegedly Shot, Killed Sheriff's Deputy

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster had a surprising revelation during today's media conference, suggesting that suspect John Williams has wanted to talk to police.

Lancaster wouldn't go into details, but said that in the course of their investigation, law enforcement officials have learned that Williams might have wanted to communicate with them. He encouraged Williams to come forward, saying 'We will do anything to resolve this situation peacefully." He said law enforcement officials are willing to listen and asked that Williams "please reach out."

John Williams is suspected of shooting and killing Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy Eugene Cole between 1:00 and 2:00 Wednesday morning and then using Cole's fully marked cruiser to rob the Cumberland Farms in Norridgewock, before abandoning the vehicle off Martin Stream Road. Police say their search today will, once again, focus on the woods in that area. In addition, Lancaster said uniformed officers will be going door-to-door, asking for information. And there will be planes and helicopters conducting searches by air.

Officials say they have a solid timeline for Williams' activities leading up to Cole's death, in front of a house where Williams once lived. Now they're asking that anyone who communicated with him after 2:00 on Wednesday morning to contact them. That communication with the suspect would include anything from a phone call to a text message, face-to-face encounter, or any contact at all.

Lancaster thanked the local community for its support, including providing food and beverages for the more than 200 officers involved in the search. He said that the deputies, troopers, and police officers are tired, but dedicated to reaching what will hopefully be a peaceful resolution to the manhunt.

A $20,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to Williams' arrest, but police stress that he is considered armed and extremely dangerous. Anyone who sees him should NOT approach him, but call 911 immediately.

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