There was speculation he may have been hiding in a drainage channel just a few hundred yards from where his abandoned car was found.
An eyewitness said the tense siege came to a climax when police surrounded the former nightclub doorman and jumped on him.
A single gunshot was heard before the fugitive, who has evaded one of Britain’s biggest manhunts for a week, was taken by ambulance to Newcastle General Hospital.
On arrival he was taken from the ambulance on a stretcher with a blanket covering his head, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Northumbria Police said: “Police can now confirm that Raoul Thomas Moat, 37, of Newcastle, died in hospital early this morning.
“It followed several hours of negotiations between Moat and police but at around 1.15am it appears, from information available, Moat shot himself. He was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead at around 2.20am.
“No officers or members of the public were injured.”
Susan Ballantyne, whose house overlooks the scene of the stand-off, said police had crowded around Moat and pounced.
Another witness, who lives near the river bank where Moat was holed-up, said he heard him telling negotiators: “Nobody cares about me.”
Moat’s death brings to an end a huge manhunt involving police officers from 15 forces, Scotland Yard sharpshooters and armoured 4x4 cars.
An RAF Tornado was also deployed to use wartime technology in a bid to find the gunman.
The drama began at around 7.20pm on Friday when police responded to reports Moat was on the riverside at Rothbury - 30 miles north of Newcastle.
Officers warned people to stay indoors for their own safety as they surrounded the fugitive who residents said was lying on the ground with a sawn-off shotgun pointed at his head.
As the siege wore on Moat apparently allowed police to bring him food and water.
But at about 1.15am, with heavy rain pouring down, officers apparently attempted to wrestle Moat to the ground.
It was at this point the 17-stone steroid addict shot himself.
Chief Superintendent Mark Dennett of Northumbria Police said: “Police discovered a man fitting the description of Raoul Thomas Moat at around 7pm near the riverbank in the vicinity of Rothbury.
“When he was discovered he was armed. Expert negotiators were brought in to speak to him and spoke to him extensively for several hours.”
The father of three went on the run a week ago after shooting his ex-girlfriend and killing her new lover.
Karate instructor Chris Brown, 29, was gunned down in the Scafell area of Birtley, Gateshead.
The fatal shooting, in which 22-year-old Miss Stobbart received critical injuries, sparked a huge manhunt as Moat declared “war” on police.
Pc David Rathband, 42, was shot early on Sunday in an “unprovoked attack” while sitting in a patrol car in East Denton, Newcastle.
In letters left for officers he claimed to be a “killer and a maniac” and pledged to keep shooting police until he died.
Initially it was believed Moat posed a serious risk only to his former girlfriend and police officers. He holds a series of grudges against the police and was only released from a short spell in prison on July 1.
But on Thursday police warned that Moat had made threats against the wider public.
Police asked the media to stop reporting aspects of Moat’s private life that he may find offensive after he made contact to say that every time there was an inaccurate report he would kill a member of the public.
The focus of the hunt turned to the small town of Rothbury on Tuesday after a car linked to Moat was found abandoned.
Police have been stationed outside schools and people who live in the area warned to keep windows and doors locked.
Also on Tuesday Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan - originally thought to be hostages - were found wandering along a country lane. Both have since appeared in court charged with conspiracy to murder.
As dawn began to break on Saturday police officers continued to keep a wide cordon around the scene.
Although a steady stream of police vehicles had left Rothbury since the shooting, at least a dozen were still parked around the Recreation Club, close to where Moat’s final stand took place.
Earlier, the 37 year-old was seen lying on the ground “shouting and sounding agitated” as a police negotiator, flanked by
armed police and an officer holding a stun gun, spoke to him from a distance of as little as 20ft. The fugitive had been found in an area between a row of houses and a storm drain next to the River Coquet.
There was speculation that Moat had spent the week hiding in the storm drain, within a stone’s throw of the spot where his car was found on Tuesday.
Trisha Best, 40, who watched the drama unfold, described Moat as looking “very tired and very scruffy”.
“At first he was lying down with a shotgun held against his neck, then later he was sitting up then later he was sitting up talking to the police negotiator,” she said.
“There were 12 armed officers about 15 yards from where he was sitting in the grass and then further back there were 12 more armed police carrying larger guns. There appeared to be about half a dozen negotiators.”
Shortly before 10pm, Moat’s best friend Tony Laidler was taken inside the police cordon to plead directly with the gunman to give himself up.
Mr Laidler, 35, a fellow doorman who has known the gunman since he was three, claimed that Moat had managed to get a message to his friends saying he had no ammunition left.
Moat surfaced in Rothbury, Northumberland, at about 7.30pm Friday night following a series of reported sightings of him in the immediate area.
The stand-off took place in an area between a school tennis court and the River Coquet.
Paula Mason, whose mother was trapped in her home nearby, said: "She told me he is sitting with a gun to his head. The police are surrounding him.
"I just spoke to her on the phone. She’s absolutely terrified, she’s on her own.
"She said a marksman with a gun told her to get inside."
Chris Robertson, who was visiting his mother when armed officers told them to lock themselves in the house, said: "I saw the guy standing by the river with a sawn-off shotgun pointed as his neck. He was about 150 yards away.
"There are police snipers everywhere – the whole place is under siege. The police came down and encircled him, pointing their rifles at him. He must have been threatening to shoot someone. They’re trying to negotiate with him."
Shouting could be heard coming from the area, just yards from allotments where a man matching Moat’s description had been spotted on Thursday night.
Dave Murray, 67, a retired taxi driver, said Moat appeared to have been chased through the village before being cornered at the primary school tennis courts and bowling green.
"There is nowhere for him to go, the river is on one side and this road and all the police on the other," said Mr Murray.
Bob Herdman, 75, who lives opposite the riverbank, said on Friday night: "There is a man lying on the ground with a gun pointed to his head.
"There are about 12 or 15 police with their guns trained on him and they are trying to negotiate with him. He has been lying there a long time, maybe two hours.
"We have been told to stay in the house, to keep away from the windows. He is on the grass on the riverside.
"I was in my greenhouse when I first knew about it. I heard a lot of shouting going on at about 5.30 or 6 o’clock out on the riverside.
"It was him shouting at the police to start with. I couldn’t make out what he was saying but I think they just told him to lie on the ground and he has been lying there ever since with all those guns trained on him."
Police were understood to have received a tip-off from a member of the public that Moat was by the river.
Mr Herdman said: "The police came in quietly. They had their sirens off but were very fast."
The spot is a stone’s throw from the police’s temporary headquarters in Rothbury, suggesting he could have been intending to carry out his threat to kill police officers.
The first indication that Moat might have been found came at 7.37pm when Ch Supt Mark Dennett, the area commander, issued an urgent warning for residents to stay indoors for their own safety.
It now appears that Moat could have been living under the noses of police in Rothbury for several days.
Two people reported seeing a man they were convinced was Moat striding down the high street of the village, where almost 200 armed police were searching for him, at about 11pm on Thursday.
There was also evidence that Moat had been stealing food from local allotments during his week on the run, and could have been sleeping in an empty house while a family were away.
A woman in her 30s saw a man she was convinced was Moat striding past her as she stood outside the village chip shop on Thursday night.
"Moments later a man further down the street also saw the distinctive stranger and alerted two police officers, one of whom was understood to have seen the man in the distance before he walked over a bridge and disappeared from view.
About two hours later, Mr Herdman looked out of his window and saw a man running to hide in a friend’s greenhouse in the allotments opposite.
"I saw him running along that wall and open the greenhouse door. I was looking out of the landing window and saw him distinctly," he said.
"He was wearing dark clothing, he was crouching down behind the wall trying to hide himself."
When Mr Herdman’s friend returned to inspect the greenhouse he noticed that the only ripe tomato in his crop had disappeared.
It also emerged that a family just outside Rothbury returned from a day out on Tuesday to find that their house had been raided for food, and signs that someone had been sleeping in one of the beds.
The young mother, who did not wish to be identified, heard rustling behind a closed door as she arrived, and fled. She believed she may have come within inches of a face-to-face confrontation with Moat.
Police disclosed on Friday that they had been examining three mobile phones used by Moat during his week on the run. One was found on Thursday by a walker, discarded on open ground near Rothbury.
It had been used by Moat as recently as Tuesday and was expected to provide vital evidence about his movements and contacts.
A man and a woman were arrested on Friday in Blyth, where Moat robbed a fish and chip shop on Monday night, and were being held on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Their arrest brought the total number of suspected accomplices to six.
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Raoul Moat dies after shooting himself during armed police stand-off - Telegraph