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Man hospitalized after shot fired into ground near turnpike in Merrimack

MERRIMACK - State police apprehended a 53-year-old man from Nashua on the side of the F.E. Everett Turnpike Tuesday morning after he allegedly fired a gun into the ground.

The man, whose name has not been released, was taken by ambulance to a hospital for evaluation. Authorities would not comment on his mental status but said he may have threatened to harm himself, although he did not appear to be injured.

The individual was a passenger in a car traveling north on the turnpike, said police, adding the driver pulled off to the side of the road around 11 a.m. near Exit 10 upon seeing the passenger's handgun.

The passenger got out of the car and fled toward Camper's Inn, where police eventually located him and seized the weapon.

At no time was the driver or any officer threatened with the gun, according to police. Investigators believe a single shot was fired into the ground, but the bullet has not been located, said Sgt. Paul Hunt.