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Norridgewock, Maine – A Maine man killed a sheriff’s deputy, stole his cruiser and robbed a convenience store early Wednesday, triggering an intensive manhunt in a rural town in central Maine.

Aircraft and armored vehicles were seen around Norridgewock and schools were locked down as officers from federal, state and local law enforcement officials search for a 29-year-old man who remained on the loose after abandoning the stolen cruiser, state police told reporters Wednesday.

Somerset County Cpl. Sheriff Eugene Cole was killed at about 1:45 a.m. on U.S. Route 2 in Norridgewock about 60 miles west of Bangor, state police said. His cruiser was driven to a Cumberland Farms store, which was robbed.

Several Somerset County officers arrived on scene within 10 minutes and the car was found abandoned shortly after 5 a.m. in another part of the town. It wasn’t known if the man was driving another vehicle.

Police identified the suspect as 29-year-old John Williams, of Madison, Maine. They say he is 5-foot-6, 120 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair in a ponytail.

Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage expressed his “deepest condolences” the Cole’s family in a tweet .

“If you live in Somerset County and the surrounding area, please cooperate with law enforcement and stay safe,” he said.

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