Sturbridge man arrested after armed robbery, schools locked down during search

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STURBRIDGE — A Sturbridge man was arrested Wednesday morning following an armed robbery and subsequent manhunt that led to a lockdown at a local elementary school and recreation center.

Charles Shuman, 29, faces multiple charges including assault with intent to rob or murder, armed robbery, and discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling after allegedly robbing a victim at gunpoint and firing a shot, according to Sturbridge Police Chief Earl J. Dessert.

The victim, who knew Shuman, was unharmed and identified him to authorities.

The incident began around 9:47 a.m. when Sturbridge police received a 911 call from the victim.

Police said Shuman initially fled in a black SUV driven by a female before running into a wooded area behind houses on Cricket Drive.

Officer Scott Crevier spotted Shuman entering the woods but did not pursue him, instead helping to establish a perimeter that led to Shuman’s capture by Trooper Gina Pedro of the Massachusetts State Police.

Pedro took Shuman down after a brief foot chase when he refused to comply with her orders.

Two handguns were recovered from Shuman during his arrest, one of which was fired during the robbery, police stated.

Due to the proximity of the crime to local community programs, Sturbridge Rec and Burgess Elementary went into lockdown, with a GEO fenced Code Red alert issued to residents in the area.

Shuman was booked at the Sturbridge Police Department and is being held until his arraignment in Dudley District Court set for July 11.

The Sturbridge Police Department is currently seeking to interview the female SUV driver and has assured the public that there is no ongoing threat.

The successful apprehension involved multiple agencies, including the Brookfield Police, Massachusetts State Police units from Sturbridge and Charlton, and state police canine teams.

Chief Dessert expressed gratitude to all who assisted in the incident, emphasizing that the investigation remains active.

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