British police were Friday reported to have surrounded a dangerous gunman after a week-long dramatic manhunt during which the fugitive killed one man, injured his former girlfriend and shot a police officer in the face, dpa reported.
Police confirmed that specialists were negotiating with a man, believed to be 37-year-old
Raoul Moat, to give himself up, the BBC said. Unconfirmed reports said the man, surrounded by snipers, was holding a shotgun to his head.
Moat, a former nightclub bouncer, had been at the centre of one of the biggest-ever police operations in Britain since last Friday, when he was released from prison after serving a sentence for assault.
Just hours after being freed from Durham prison in north-east England, he shot his former girlfriend, 22-year-old Samantha Stobbart, and killed her new boyfriend, in an attack in a village near Newcastle, north-east England.
In the ensuing police hunt, he shot a police officer in the face. He threatened to kill police officers in his pursuit and, earlier this week, widened the threat to attacking the general public, police said.
In a message on his Facebook page, he said: "Just got out of jail, I've lost everything, my business, my property and to top it all off, my lass of six years had gone off with a copper that sent me down. I'm not 21, and I can't rebuild my life. Watch and see what happens."
The dramatic manhunt, involving police officers and armed special units from across Britain, has focused on the largely rural area near the village of Rothbury, where Moat was reported to have been tracked down Friday evening after a week in hiding.