NORRIDGEWOCK (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Friends are remembering fallen Somerset County Deputy Corporal Eugene Cole after he was shot and killed Wednesday morning.
"He was a nice man, did a good job at what he did and had a personality that the community needs," Ambrose said. "It's a sad day."
Cole leaves behind his wife Sheryl and their four grown children, David Joe, Phil and Jill as well as several grandchildren. Cole and Sheryl raised their four children in the close-knit community of Norridgewock.
According to Portland Press Herald Cole began working for the sheriff's office in 2004 after running an electronics business for years. His son David, was the first family member to join law enforcement when he became a corrections officer and Kennebec County Jail.
Eugene Cole and his older brother played in a band when they were younger called the Borderline Express.
Ambrose described Cole as a Deputy who hard-working and honest. He says Cole's son was also a patrolman in the area and Cole's mother and brother worked for him in Madison.
"He took his job serious but he was never bigger than the job," Ambrose said about Cole. "He would have helped anyone, it didn't matter if he was on patrol or not."
A national manhunt is underway as police search for 29-year-old John Williams, the man they believe is responsible for killing Cole. Williams is considered armed and dangerous.
Ambrose says when he heard the news he hoped it wasn't someone he knew. His daughter and grandson were killed in a fatal shooting last year in Madison. He says he wasn't prepared for something like this happening again so soon.
"I guess they call it life," Ambrose said. "But it sure don't seem like the right definition to me."
Cole had been part of the Somerset County sheriff's office for thirteen years. Cole was described by other law enforcement officers\as an "outstanding employee" and "one of the finest deputies you would ever want to meet."
The last Maine law enforcement officer to die in a shooting was Giles Landry. Detective Landry was shot to death on March 31, 1989 while investigating a child abuse complaint in Leeds. The gunman also killed a woman who had been talking to Detective Landry before turning the gun on himself. Landry joined the Maine State Police in 1976 and was promoted to Detective in 1988.
Fryeburg Police Officer Nate Desjardins was killed in the line of duty June 6, 2017 in a boat crash in Fryeburg. Desjardins was on his first day of water rescue training. He is Maine's 84th law enforcement line of duty death.
The first line of duty death in Maine was Ebenezer Parker, who was killed in 1808 while working for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department.