NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine -- The search for John Williams, suspected of shooting and killing Somerset County Sheriff's Corporal Eugene Cole, has ended. Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster told CBS Portland, Maine, affiliate WGME that Williams was taken into custody on Saturday -- an announcement that came just minutes after Cole's widow pleaded for Williams to give himself up during a news conference.
"I'm extremely grateful for all those people involved that assisted Somerset County Sheriff's Office in bringing Williams in," Lancaster caster said Saturday.
His capture ends a nationwide manhunt for the suspected killer of Cole, the 25th officer to be gunned down in the line of duty this year. Hundreds of officers were involved in the search, and the FBI announced a reward for information leading to his capture.
Williams was wanted in the fatal shooting early Wednesday of Cole in the town of Norridgewock in central Maine. Officials say the 29-year-old Madison man also stole Cole's cruiser and robbed a convenience store.
Police declined to say whether he'd been apprehended, or had turned himself in. Saturday was the fourth day of an intense manhunt. Helicopters, armored vehicles and scores of state, federal and local officers poured into Norridgewock during the search.
Cole was 62 and a 13-year veteran of the department. Lancaster calls him an "outstanding employee" and "one of the finest deputies." He is survived by his wife and four children.
It's unclear what preceded the shooting, but Cole had been involved in the arrest of Williams' girlfriend several days earlier, and Williams was worried about being arrested himself for failing to appear in court in Massachusetts on firearm charges the day of the shooting.
Williams was angry about his girlfriend's arrest and he'd told a friend that "as of tomorrow, I'll be a fugitive." The friend said Williams was acting paranoid and noticed that he had body armor in one of his bags.