EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

December 14, 2012

Police confirm roof rack sparked manhunt on I-93

New Hampshire State Police have confirmed a motorist’s retrieval of a roof rack led to calls Thursday morning from Interstate 93 about a man with a gun.

State police, aided by Derry and Londonderry officers, spent more than an hour during the morning commute searching for the reported gunman in the area of Exit 4, as well as along Route 102.

But it was all a mistake.

State police said a man came forward later in the day to say he had been made aware of the search and told them he believed he was the person they were seeking.

He told police the rack had fallen off his car and landed in the median.

The man told police he parked his gray Volkswagen sedan in the breakdown lane and crossed I-93 south to retrieve it.

State police said they received other calls consistent with his explanation.

“New Hampshire State Police have determined that there is no danger to the public in regards to this incident,” the agency said in a press release.

At least two callers had told state police they had seen a man with what appeared to be an assault rifle.

But George Simon of Concord, who works in Salem, contacted state police to let them know he believed it was a man retrieving a roof rack.

“I don’t know who called the police and said there was a man with a gun,” Simon said after the search was called off. “There definitely was not a gun.”

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