LOWELL (CBS) — Lowell Police are currently searching for an armed and dangerous man authorities say shot and killed his ex-girlfriend.

Police said the woman, who was in her 40s, was shot in the head inside an apartment on Stevens Street around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. She was taken to an area hospital, where she died.

The shooter, who Lowell Police identified as 51-year-old Ross Elliott, is still at large.

Officers were meticulously searching the Highlands neighborhood of Lowell and residents were ordered to shelter in place for several hours. That order was lifted at about 11:00 p.m.

Ross Elliot, 51. (Lowell Police)

“We consider this individual to be armed and extremely dangerous,” Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor said.

Countless police officers were searching throughout the surrounding area with their guns drawn.

Off-duty Lowell firefighter David Provencher told WBZ-TV he looked underneath his popup motorcycle cover when he got to his Barton Ave. home around 4:20 p.m. and Elliott emerged from underneath it holding a gun.

An off-duty firefighter came face to face with a suspected murdered when he lifted up his motorcycle tarp. (WBZ-TV)

Provencher said Elliott pointed the gun at him and said he wanted to be left alone. “He just kept saying ‘I just want to left be alone, I just want to go die, I just want to be left alone,’” Provencher said.

“He was pointing the gun at me saying ‘don’t do anything, don’t do anything’ I backed away and said ‘man you don’t have to do this.'”

When Provencher pulled out his phone, Elliott demanded he put it away. Elliott ran off. Officers do not think anyone is helping him and he is desperate.

WBZ-TV’s Louisa Moller reports

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan urged residents to stay in their homes and not open the door for someone they are not expecting.

The extensive ground search ended just before 11:00 p.m., but police said they are adding extra patrols to the Highlands neighborhood.

Elliott is a 5’10”, white male, last seen wearing blue hoodie, jeans and black & white sneakers.

READ: Lowell Suspect Has History Of Violence

Lowell Police said the victim and Elliott were previously in a domestic relationship.

“We will need your help,” Ryan said. “We’re going to be asking for the public’s help in locating him.”

A police dog searches for a Lowell murder suspect. (WBZ-TV)

Ryan said the shooting took place in a common area in the building–and that other family members, including the woman’s daughter, were present.

“The child is safe, and the child is in the custody of the police department and other family,” said Supt. Taylor.

Valerie Giguere, who lives in the Stevens Street building, told WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano that the victim was visiting her mother, who lives down the hall from Giguere.

“I didn’t know the couple, I’ve seen the daughter around,” she said, adding the victim’s daughter was “probably about eight.”

Heavy police presence in Lowell during a search for a murder suspect. (WBZ-TV)

Giguere said she was awoken by her son, and opened her door to see “police running around.”

“Nothing like that happens here, so it’s a little shocking, it’s disturbing,” she said. “It’s disturbing that he was able to get in … It’s very sad, there’s a little girl that may or may not have lost her mother, and may or may not have witnessed it.”

Police searched the suspect’s Gorham Street house, but Taylor said the suspect was not there and that the home was secured.

Heavily armed police searched the suspected gunman’s home on Gorham Street after the shooting. (WBZ-TV)

Gorham Street resident Philip Shea said he saw armed police standing outside his condo.

“I heard that there was a shooting over at the other side of the city, and the shooter came back to his residence and apparently locked himself in the house,” he said. “I can tell you it was a rude awakening.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports


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