- Image 1 of 2
- Image 2 of 2
LONDON -- British police surrounded a picturesque village in northeast England on Tuesday as they closed in on a fugitive wanted for murder who has been on the run for four days.
Police also arrested two men once thought to be hostages of Raoul Thomas Moat, who is wanted for allegedly wounding his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, killing her new boyfriend and shooting a police officer.
The two men were found walking along a road near Rothbury, a village about 30 miles north of Newcastle. The men, whose names haven't been released, are in police custody.
"I can confirm that both men are the people that we believe were the hostages," Det. Chief Supt. Neil Adamson said. "Both have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder."
A car linked to Moat was found nearby, but the 37-year-old former nightclub bouncer remains at large, Adamson said.
Moat has been the target of a manhunt since Saturday, two days after he was released from prison after serving a short sentence.
Stobbart was wounded in the early hours of the morning and her boyfriend, 29-year-old karate instructor Chris Brown, was fatally shot.
Less than 24 hours later, Constable David Rathband was shot in Newcastle.
On Tuesday, a newspaper printed extracts from a letter purportedly sent to police by Moat, which said he called police, warning that he had "declared war" on them. In a second phone call, "I rang again and told them they're gonna pay for what they've done to me and Sam."
As they searched for Moat on Tuesday, police set up an exclusion zone in the area around Rothbury and advised residents to remain inside, but his letter said the public isn't in danger.
"The public need not fear me, but the police should as I won't stop until I'm dead," according to the letter, which was published in the Sun tabloid. "They took it all from me, kids, freedom, house, then Sam."
Detectives have suggested Moat believed his 22-year-old former girlfriend, who is also the mother of his 19-month-old daughter, was dating a police officer. Police and Stobbart have denied that, and urged Moat to give himself up.