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British fugitive dies after shooting self, ending standoff

Image: Police Search For Raoul Moat In Connection With Fatal Shooting
Armed police search a Priorsgate Cottage in the village of Rothbury, England, during the search for armed fugitive Raoul Moat, who Saturday shot himself and died after an hours-long standoff with authorities.Christopher Furlong / Getty Images
/ Source: The Associated Press

British fugitive Raoul Moat killed himself after police moved in to arrest him Saturday, ending a weeklong manhunt that had transfixed Britain.

Police in northeastern England said Raoul Thomas Moat, 37, was found alongside a riverbank on Friday. Authorities surrounded him and a six-hour standoff ensued.

The fugitive was wanted for allegedly wounding his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, 22, killing her new boyfriend, Chris Brown, 29, and shooting an unarmed police officer 24 hours later.

Moat turned a shotgun on himself when police moved in.

Raoul Moat is seen in a shop in Newcastle in this combination of Closed Circuit Televison images (CCTV) handout images, taken on July 2, 2010, and recieved in London on July 9, 2010. Police are continuing their search for Moat, 37, who has been on the run since allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend and a police officer on Saturday, July 3. The boyfriend died and the others were badly injured. AFP PHOTO/Northumbria Police/Handout EDITORIAL USE ONLY / NO SALES BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE (Photo credit should read HANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images)Handout / Northumbria Police

He was pronounced dead on arrival at Newcastle General Hospital, Sky News reported. Other media said he died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

The stand-off
The incident took place in Rothbury, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of the city of Newcastle. The picturesque village and its surrounding countryside had become the focus of a police manhunt and 24-hour news coverage after Moat's car was found in the area.

Hundreds of officers had swarmed into the region, and nationally broadcast news conferences kept the nation apprised of Moat's movements, his campsites and the letters he left behind to his ex-girlfriend. Newspapers published a letter in which Moat "declared war" on the police.

In a country with tough gun laws, the prospect of an armed man on the loose was front page news. Tensions heightened after police said that the public — and not just police — might be in danger.

After days of tracking, police responded to reports that Moat was on a riverbank at about 7:20 p.m on Friday. They warned residents to stay indoors for their own safety.

"When he was discovered he was armed," Chief Superintendent Mark Dennett of Northumbria Police said. "Expert negotiators were brought in to speak to him and spoke to him extensively for several hours."

The siege wore on, and at one point police gave Moat food and water as negotiators attempted to persuade him to give up. But by early Saturday, officers apparently attempted to wrestle him to the ground and he turned the gun on himself.