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English police said wounded man may be accused shooter

By the CNN Wire Staff
Police search farmland about 15 miles north of Rothbury, England, on Thursday for murder suspect Raoul T. Moat.
Police search farmland about 15 miles north of Rothbury, England, on Thursday for murder suspect Raoul T. Moat.
  • NEW: Northumbria police say man fitting description of Raoul Moat wounded
  • Moat accused of shooting ex-girlfriend, killing her new partner and shooting a police officer
  • Town of Rothbury on lockdown as police believe Moat has been in area

Rothbury, England (CNN) -- Police in northeastern England late Friday said a man fitting the description of suspected shooter Raoul Thomas Moat was wounded and receiving medical treatment.

The confrontation near a river may have brought an end to the intense manhunt for Moat, wanted for a series of shootings last weekend.

"Police discovered a man fitting the description of Raoul Thomas Moat at around 7 p.m. near the riverbank in the vicinity of Rothbury," Northumbria Police said in a recorded statement. "When he was discovered, he was armed. Expert negotiators were brought in to speak to him, and spoke to him extensively for several hours.

"We can confirm a shot or shots have been fired and it's believed the suspect has a gunshot wound. He is currently receiving treatment. No officers have been injured. At this stage, the circumstances have yet to be established."

Earlier, police said officers were negotiating with the man.

A Rothbury resident named Ryan Phillips said he was walking his dog along the river bank when a man wearing a cap was seized by policemen. One policeman held a gun to the man's head, said Philips.

Resident Carolynn Crawford said she was trying to get to a wedding reception on the other side of the river. Guests couldn't get there because of the ongoing police operation, she said.

On the perimeter of the standoff, there was a man in tears among the witnesses gathered. He said his wife was stranded in the area cordoned off by the police.

Moat has been missing since Saturday, July 3. That's when he allegedly shot and wounded his former girlfriend and killed her new partner. Moat also allegedly shot and wounded a police officer on patrol on Sunday.

Rothbury has been in a state of "lockdown" this week, amid suspicion the 37-year-old Moat is hiding in the area. Armed police were at checkpoints on roads in and out of Rothbury and stationed on street corners. Residents were warned to stay indoors, and police said Moat was "armed and dangerous."

CNN's Simon Hooper contributed to this story.