Hunt underway for New Bedford homicide suspect

Photo: Scott Del Sole | WPRI 12

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Police surrounded a New Bedford home for several hours Wednesday, believing the suspect in a homicide earlier in the day was holed up inside. It turned out he wasn’t, and now investigators are on the hunt.

“We did not locate anyone in that residence. So the suspect is still at large,” Lt. Amos Melo said after police spent several hours surrounding the Matthew Street home.

Lt. Melo said a 20-year-old man was shot multiple times Wednesday morning around 11 a.m. on the corner of Bank and Matthew Streets. The victim, who police are not yet identifying, was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital where he died.

Melo said officers got to the scene quickly and, believing the suspect was inside his house on Matthew Street, set up a perimeter, along with the New Bedford SWAT team. Massachusetts State Police and Bristol County Sheriff K-9 units assisted.

“Witness statements all pointed into that direction, into that house,” Melo said. Officers had guns drawn, pointed at the house, and called for the suspect come out.

Just before 3 p.m., police went inside the home and discovered that the suspect was not there. Melo said officers found a gun inside, but it’s not yet clear if that was the weapon used in the homicide.

Police have not yet released the suspect’s identity, but said he’s known to police and considered armed and dangerous. The Bristol Country District Attorney’s office also declined to release the name or a photo of the suspect.

Amos said investigators were not yet sure of the circumstances surrounding the homicide or the connection, if any, between the suspect and the victim.