Maine lawmakers and officials are reacting to the news of a Somerset County deputy being gunned down overnight Wednesday as authorities continue to hunt for his killer.
Cpl. Eugene Cole, a 13-year veteran of the Somerset County Sheriff's Department, was shot and killed by John Williams, according to police. A nationwide alert has been issued for the 29-year-old suspect, whom police believe is armed and extremely dangerous.
"Our deepest condolences go out to the family of fallen Deputy Sheriff Corporal Eugene Cole," Maine Gov. Paul LePage tweeted out. "If you live in Somerset County and the surrounding area, please cooperate with law enforcement and stay safe."
In a tweet, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said she was "deeply saddened" when she heard about Cole's death.
"Cpl. Cole served the citizens of Somerset County for 13 years with honor & distinction, & Maine will be eternally grateful for his brave actions to protect his community," she said.
U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, also expressed his condolences on social media.
"Praying for his family and friends, and the many law enforcement officials working to capture his killer," he tweeted.
"Every single day, the men and women of our law enforcement put their lives on the line to protect our families and our communities," U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who represents Norridgewock in Congress, tweeted out. "I am praying for Mr. Cole, his family, and our entire community today and I send them my deepest condolences."