Published: Feb 03, 2011 12:56 AM EST
Updated: Feb 02, 2011 5:44 PM EST

BONIFAY, Fla. (AP) - A corrections officer and an ex-convict wanted for killing his parents died in a gun battle Wednesday, state officials said.

The shootout happened after a homeowner confronted Wade Andrew Williams in the woods Wednesday.

Authorities had been searching for the 35-year-old since his parents were found dead in their home in the Florida Panhandle last week.

Williams tried to shoot the homeowner, but missed. He fled, setting off a massive manhunt.

K-9 units tracked Williams through a remote wooded area where authorities believe he had been camping. He shot and killed Col. Greg Malloy, a K-9 officer who had been with department since 1988, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said.

Authorities say they don't know why Williams would have killed his parents. He was released from the Tallahassee Work Release Center in August 2009. He was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of several burglary and grand theft charges in 2005 and 2006.

It has already been a deadly year for law enforcement officers around the country, particularly in Florida, where two St. Petersburg police officers and two Miami-Dade County detectives died in two separate shootings last month.