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Dracut man fatally shot Sunday by police in Newbury tied to at least three carjackings and stabbing

In the hours before a Dracut man was shot and killed by police as he rammed a stolen SUV into a State Police cruiser in Newbury on Sunday evening, he stabbed an employee of a New Hampshire BMW dealership and carjacked a Lowell woman, officials said Monday.

Thomas Christopher Murray, 31, has also been tied to at least one other carjacking in the area — the theft of an Audi Q5 from a family in North Andover on Saturday, according to a statement from Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett and State Police Colonel Christopher Mason.

Around 5 p.m. Sunday, Murray arrived at the Tully BMW dealership in Nashua driving a Subaru Legacy, which had been stolen from the Lowell woman about an hour earlier, officials said. The woman was not seriously injured.

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At the dealership, Murray stole a BMW X5 SUV at knifepoint and stabbed an employee, causing minor injuries, officials said.

As Murray drove away, BMW employees used the vehicle’s onboard location system to track it as he drove on Route 95 to a gas station in Newbury. Around 6 p.m., four police officers arrived, using their cruisers to box in Murray’s SUV, officials said.

Officers got out of their cruisers and approached Murray, who then rammed into a State Police cruiser.

"At that point in the confrontation a police officer or officers discharged a weapon or weapons. The suspect was struck,” officials said.

Police provided first aid to Murray, who was taken to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, where he was later pronounced dead, officials said.

Police found a knife inside the stolen vehicle, officials said. Police did not say how many times Murray was shot.

On Saturday afternoon, Murray allegedly got into the driver’s seat of an Audi Q5 parked at a Starbucks in North Andover and yelled at a woman and her 5-year-old child to get out. The woman’s husband was inside the coffee shop at the time.

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Items recovered at the scene and witness accounts "led to Thomas Murray being identified almost immediately,” officials said.

The stolen car was later involved in a police chase in Canton Sunday around 6:30 a.m., and was later found in Lexington. Police are also investigating whether Murray is connected to a vehicle theft in Boston on Saturday.

Globe correspondent Abigail Feldman contributed to this report.





John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.