Police say escaped convict is armed and dangerous and warn that it is an offence to harbour or assist fugitives

Shanell Thomas, the convict who escaped from the Prison Farm on Tuesday, exchanged gunfire with the Police early Wednesday morning in the New Winthorpes community.

Sources allege that Thomas has a girlfriend in the village, and that neighbours spotted the fugitive at her house and alerted the authorities.

According to a release from the Police, at around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the Special Services Unit was on mobile patrol in the area when they spotted Thomas driving a vehicle.

The Police say they tried to apprehend the escapee; however, he alighted from the vehicle with what appeared to be a firearm and attempted to engage the officers.

Although the Police opened fire, no one was injured, and Thomas managed to escape into some nearby bushes, the report says.

However, the vehicle he was driving was seized and taken to Police Headquarters.

The public is cautioned not to engage the fugitive, as he is considered to be armed and dangerous. The Police further warn that it is a criminal offence to harbour an escaped prisoner or assist an escapee to elude authorities.

Thomas is described as being of medium build, approximately 190 pounds, 5 feet 7 inches tall, and fair in complexion.

The search for him continues, and the Police are appealing to him to surrender at a station immediately. Residents with information can contact any police station or call Crimestoppers at 800-Tips (8477).