Manhunt continues for suspect accused of killing police officer in Maine

Manhunt for man accused of killing deputy

A nationwide manhunt is on for the suspected killer of a sheriff's deputy in Maine, the 25th officer to be gunned down in the line of duty this year. Hundreds of officers were involved in the search on Thursday, and the FBI has announced a reward for information leading to his capture.    

John Williams remains at large and still armed and dangerous. On Thursday, parts of central Maine are on lockdown with law enforcement officials from three states, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service looking for Williams.

He was scheduled to appear in court in Massachusetts on Wednesday to face gun charges. But hours before that, police say Williams robbed a convenience store, killed Somerset County Sheriff's Cpl. Eugene Cole, stole his police cruiser and left Cole's body on the side of the road.

At a press conference on Thursday, the sheriff issued a plea to the suspect.

"If John Williams is hearing this, I want you to turn yourself in. Please surrender peacefully," said Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster.

During his arraignment in Massachusetts on the gun charges, prosecutors requested his bail be set at $10,000. But it was later reduced to $5,000 by a judge, drawing criticism from some, including Gov. Charlie Baker, after Williams was able to post bail and went free.

 A 13-year police veteran, Cole was the first police officer killed in Maine in nearly 30 years. He leaves behind 4 children including his son, who is also a member of the Somerset County Sheriff's Office.