Sturbridge man arrested after armed robbery, schools closed during raid

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

Charles Shuman, 29, faces multiple charges including assault with intent to rob or kill, armed robbery and discharging 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 not injured 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 first fled in a black SUV driven by a woman before heading into a wooded area behind homes 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 Massachusetts State Police Trooper Gina Pedro.

Pedro defeated Shuman after a brief foot chase when he refused to obey his orders.

Two handguns were recovered from Shuman during his arrest, one of which was used in the robbery, police said.

Due to the proximity of the crime to local community programs, Sturbridge Rec and Burgess Elementary were placed on lockdown, with a GEO Fenced Code Red Alert issued to area residents.

Shuman was arrested at the Sturbridge Police Department and is being held until his appearance in Dudley District Court, scheduled for July 11.

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

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

Chef Dessert expressed his gratitude to all those who assisted in the incident, stressing that the investigation remains active.