Armed Robber On the Run After Overnight Standoff in Willimantic

Police are looking for the man involved in an overnight standoff that prompted home evacuations in Willimantic and believe he has a weapon.

The incident started around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, when a man with a gun robbed two women in the area of Gem Drive. Neither woman was injured, but the man threatened them and grabbed cash from one of them before running, according to police.

Police said the robber is known to them, but they have not released his name or description.

Officers chased the suspect to his relatives' house at 45 Gem Drive in Willimantic and saw him run inside. Police set up a perimeter around the house, believing the man had barricaded himself inside.

Several homes in the area were evacuated and many nearby homes were issued a "shelter-in-place" order while the Willimantic SWAT team responded.

The suspect called police Sunday night. A series of additional phone calls followed and the suspect told authorities repeatedly he wasn't in the house at 45 Gem Drive and had passed through several towns, according to police.

"We assumed at that point that he may be in the house even though he was telling us he was at another geographical location," said Willimantic police spokesman Cpl. Stan Parizo Jr.

Willimantic police and SWAT remained outside the house until securing a search warrant early Monday morning. Police said the suspect wasn't inside when they searched the house, but they believed had been at one point, because investigators found a handgun that had been used during the robbery.

That standoff ended around 6 a.m. Monday. Police gave residents on Gem Drive and nearby streets the "all clear" to exit or return to their homes.

Police continue to search for the robber and said they don't believe the public is at risk in Willimantic. Authorities don't think the man is still in the immediate area.

"At this point, we do believe he’s armed," Parizo Jr. said. "I can tell you that he’s not in this general area. We did a very good search here, K-9s out there. He's definitely not here."

Police are interviewing the two women robbed and continue to look for their attacker. Authorities said they don't know of any relationship between the robber and victims.

Anyone with information is asked to call Willimantic police.

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