British police said on Thursday they had arrested another two men in their hunt for a fugitive suspected of shooting three people in northeast England, but the suspect himself remained on the run. Detectives also revealed that Raoul Moat, 37, who allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend and a police officer on Saturday, had made fresh threats against members of the public.
The boyfriend died and the others were badly hurt in the shooting, which occurred two days after Moat was released from jail. Two men were arrested on Wednesday near Rothbury, the rural town in Nothumberland close to where Moat is thought to be hiding, on suspicion of helping him and were in custody, Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson said. Meanwhile, two men arrested earlier this week, who had at one point believed to have been Moat's hostages, had now been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and possession of a firearm with intent, he said.
One of the pair, Karl Ness, 26, was accused of being with Moat when he allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend and her partner, while the second, Qhuram Awan, 23, was accused of supplying Moat with a gun. Six days into the manhunt, which has been extensively covered on live television channels and in the national press, police insisted they were still doing everything they could to catch the alleged killer. But Acting Chief Constable Sue Sim also warned,"From the outset we have stressed Mr. Moat's grievances are largely directed towards police. Information has now emerged that Mr. Moat has made threats towards the wider public."
She said one of the reasons it was proving so hard to track Moat down was the "challenging terrain" of the Rothbury area, which was "full of hills, ravines, caves, dense woodland and deep water". Police released updated photographs of Moat from closed-circuit television cameras from the day before the alleged shootings, showing the former nightclub bouncer may have lost some weight and had a mohican haircut.