Fugitive U.K. gunman Raoul Moat killed himself with a single shot from a sawed-off shotgun early Saturday exactly a week after attempting to murder his former girlfriend.
The 37-year-old made a dramatic last stand after being discovered in the heart of the village of Rothbury in northern England which was at the center of Britain’s largest manhunt.
After six hours of negotiations with police the former nightclub bouncer suddenly lay down on a bank of the River Coquet and shot himself at 1:15am local time. He was declared dead later at Newcastle General Hospital.
“Police can now confirm that Raoul Thomas Moat, 37, of Newcastle, died in hospital early this morning," Northumbria Police said in a statement.
“It followed several hours of negotiations between Moat and police but at around 1:15am it appears, from information available, Moat shot himself.
“He was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead at around 2:20am. No officers or members of the public were injured.”
A large convoy of police and emergency vehicles accompanied the ambulance to the hospital and on arrival Moat was seen being transported on a stretcher with a blanket covering his head, Sky News reported.
Moat was surrounded by armed police at 7:00pm Friday after detectives received a tipoff that he had been hiding in a storm sewer which runs under the village where hundreds of officers had been searching for him.
Following a brief chase the former bouncer was cornered on the banks of the river close to the sewer in which he played as a child.
A witness said he heard Moat telling police negotiators: “I haven’t got a dad. Nobody cares about me.”
Officers chased him to the river on foot after spotting him in the central shopping street in Rothbury. After being confronted by police he held a gun to his head and the siege did not come to an end until the shooting.
During the siege the suspected killer's best friend Tony Laidler was drafted in to try to bring the tense deadlock to an end.
Officers hoped Laidler could convince the fugitive to put down the sawed-off shotgun he was pressing to his own neck.
In a further twist, England soccer icon Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne turned up at the police cordon sensationally claiming to be one of Moat's friends.
Gascoigne told local radio he brought him a dressing gown, a big jacket, some chicken and bread, a can of lager and a fishing rod.
"He is a gentleman," insisted Gascoigne, 43, who said he had met Moat while he was working as a doorman in Newcastle, also in northeastern England, where Gascoigne grew up.
"Someone must have wound him up," added the former footballer, who played 57 times for England but has battled alcoholism since his playing career ended.
Food and water was delivered to Moat as the confrontation continued, sources told Sky.
A police negotiator was heard addressing him simply as “Raoul” and urging him to drop his weapon. "Put the gun down, no one is going to hurt you," Sky quoted police as saying.
Helicopters hovered overhead as at least ten police cars arrived on the scene. Locals were warned to stay indoors as the seven-day manhunt drew to a dramatic close.
Initial reports suggested two shots were fired as the standoff ended but Sky sources now say Moat died from a single shot and that no police weapon was discharged.
Moat had been on the run since July 3, when he allegedly shot his former lover Sam Stobbart and killed her new boyfriend Chris Brown.
He was also wanted in connection with the shooting of police officer David Rathband the following day.
It quickly became clear that he was a paranoid individual who was no stranger to violence.
Police asked media to stop reporting aspects of Moat's private life that he may find offensive after he made contact to say that every time there was an inaccurate report he would kill a member of the public.
Despite having links to the Tyneside underworld in northeastern England, Moat's first conviction came only this year when he was jailed for 18 weeks for assaulting a child.
He secured early release from Durham Prison only on Thursday last week.
Northumbria Police confirmed that Moat had also been arrested on 12 separate occasions and was charged with seven separate offenses as a result of those arrests.
On one occasion five years ago, he went on trial at Newcastle Crown Court accused of possessing an offensive weapon and possessing an article with a blade or point -- a knuckle-duster and a samurai sword.
He was acquitted of both charges.
Moat had already declared "war" on police and in chilling letters left for officers he claimed to be a "killer and a maniac" and pledged to keep shooting until he died.