MOULTRIE — A Moultrie man, who disappeared Monday after a relative fired a gun during a dispute, ran through woods and hid out, apparently fearing arrest as much as his assailant.

Moultrie police spent hours looking for Tommy Strickland after a witness reported that he had been shot in the 1300 block of 11th Avenue Southwest.

Strickland was unsure whether or not there were any outstanding warrants for his arrest and police did not catch up with him until Tuesday morning.

“He’s all right,” Moultrie Police Department Inv. Dave Underwood said. “An uncle of his told us that he saw him (Monday) and that he was uninjured. We wanted to put eyes on him ourselves.”

The search for Strickland started after police received a report of shots fired at a residence where he had a dispute with a family member, police said.

“It was just a family thing, a family altercation,” Underwood said. “The one that fired the weapon is a family member. This was the culmination of an ongoing dispute. Fortunately it ended up that no one was injured.”

The family member has not been arrested, and police are still investigating the matter, he said. Underwood could not say whether the woman actually was shooting at him or just fired the gun at no specific target in order to scare Strickland.

However, a woman told the first officers to arrive that her neighbor had shot a man who then ran into the woods behind her house. That led to police spending the afternoon searching, fearing that Strickland was wounded and possibly had collapsed and needed medical attention.

“We were anxious to make contact with the victim,” Underwood said.

There were no active warrants for Strickland’s arrest, he said.

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