ROCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – A large group of police in Rochester, New Hampshire captured a gunman who was hiding in the woods Monday morning after they say he fired shots at them overnight.

Officers were called to the Walmart on Farmington Road around noon Sunday after receiving reports that a man armed with a rifle was in a parking lot there. He ran off into the woods and the Walmart was evacuated and locked down. Nearby businesses were also closed and hunters were told to stay away from the area.

SWAT teams and state police from New Hampshire and Maine were called in to help. Massachusetts State Police brought in a helicopter for the search.

Police surrounded Christopher Thomas in the woods near the Walmart in Rochester, NH. (WBZ-TV)

The gunman, later identified as 27-year-old Christopher Thomas, was tracked down overnight and fired shots at officers, according to police. No one was hurt.

“We did, on more than one occasion, face gunshots from the suspect into the area of the helicopter and police officers.” Rochester Police Chief Paul Toussaint told reporters.

Police eventually surrounded him. Thomas was taken into custody just after 10 a.m. Monday when SWAT members approached him and he surrendered without incident.  More than 70 people in law enforcement were involved in the search and capture.

Thomas, who is homeless, is now charged with four counts of reckless conduct with a deadly weapon. He also has three warrants for criminal threatening, along with four warrants for theft. It’s not clear yet how he got the gun.

“We believe he’s been living in the woods in the area where this operation took place and the thefts were numerous thefts that took place at Walmart and Market Basket within the city of Rochester,” Toussaint said.

Thomas is being held without bail and will be arraigned Tuesday.

Businesses in the area have re-opened and hunters can return to Ten Rod Road.

Comments