Police suspend ground search for man accused of killing woman in Lowell

LOWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - Police and SWAT teams in Lowell suspended their ground search Thursday night for an “extremely dangerous” man after a woman was found murdered Thursday morning but said they will continue looking for him.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said authorities responded at around 7:30 a.m. to an apartment at 166 Stevens St. for a report of shots fired and found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

Police said the victim, in her 40s, had been in a relationship with homicide suspect Ross Elliott, 51, of Lowell. They did not specify what kind of relationship it was. Sources told 7’s Steve Cooper that the woman was shot in front of her young daughter. The girl was not injured.

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The woman was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Police said a SWAT team swept through the apartment building but was unable to locate Elliott. A search of a home on Gorham Street also turned up empty. SWAT teams and local police are now search homes and yards.

An off-duty firefighter said he encountered Elliott hiding under a motorcycle case in his yard. The firefighter said Elliott crawled out with a gun in his hand, telling the firefighter he wanted to be left alone and wanted to die. He then ran down Pine Street toward Lowell center. The firefighter was not injured.

A “shelter in place” order for residents in the Highlands area was lifted late Thursday night. Anyone with information on Elliot’s whereabouts is asked to contact police.

Elliot is said to be “armed and extremely dangerous.” Police said he was last seen wearing a blue shirt and jeans.

A preliminary investigation suggests that Elliot approached the woman in a common area of the building where she was residing, authorities said. Elliot then allegedly assaulted the woman, fatally shooting her.

The woman has not been identified. The shooting is under investigation.

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