(VERMONT) — Authorities have locked down a Vermont community as they search for a 24-year-old man they say exchanged fire with an officer responding to a domestic disturbance call in the village of Morrisville.
Henry Lovell allegedly fled the scene on foot before 9 p.m. on Thursday night, shotgun in hand, and entered a nearby Veterans of Foreign Wars post, where a patron wrestled the weapon from him, the Vermont State Police said Friday afternoon in a release.
Lovell is still at large, police said.
Authorities asked residents Friday morning to avoid the area around Morrisville, a village of roughly 2,000 people tucked among the mountains of northern Vermont, and requested that anyone who was on two nearby trails on Friday to call police if they saw anyone suspicious.
Area schools were closed Friday, State Police said.
Lovell is considered “potentially armed and dangerous,” though authorities have “accounted for all the firearms Lovell might have had access to.”
The search has expanded beyond the village, but “it is a possibility that he is still in the area,” Maj. David Petersen of the State Police said at a press conference Friday evening.
Adam Silverman, a spokesman for the agency, told ABC News in an email earlier Friday that there is “no evidence that Lovell has access to a vehicle.”
Police said Lovell faces multiple pending charges in unrelated cases including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, lewd and lascivious conduct and resisting arrest.
The officer Lovell allegedly shot, whom authorities have not yet named, “responded to a reported kidnapping and domestic disturbance involving Henry Lovell, a family and another individual,” according to the release, which noted that the officer “recognized Lovell from previous interactions.”
The officer sustained minor injuries and was treated and released from a hospital, police said.
In an interview with the News & Citizen, a local paper, Dorick Tallman described stripping Lovell of his shotgun when the suspect entered the bar area of the Morrisville Veterans of Foreign Wars building Thursday night.
“We cornered him by one of the offices, and I was like, ‘dude, just give me the gun.’ He sort of handed it to me and as soon as I grabbed it, he realized that he didn’t want me to have it,” said Tallman, who said a scuffle ensued.
“My thought was just public safety,” he told the outlet. “There were teenagers and a bunch of girls and whatnot in the dance hall, and I just didn’t want it to turn into a hostile situation or anybody else to get hurt.”
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