BOULDER, COLO. -- An escaped convict suspected of the fatal shootings of four people in 10 days, was shot and taken into custody yesterday, authorities said.

Michael G. Bell, 36, was in serious condition with a neck wound at Boulder Community Hospital, said a nursing supervisor.

A friend of Bell's, Theodore Oliver, 22, who was charged on murder and robbery counts in connection with two of the slayings, "was afraid of being killed" by Bell and tipped police off to a meeting Bell had arranged, police said. When Bell arrived, officers were waiting, police said.

Bell is being held on a charge of escaping from prison. Other charges are pending.

On Friday, Bell impersonated a park ranger, rounded up five men who were target shooting in the mountains north of Boulder and began shooting them, police said.

Two of the men died, two were shot and injured, and the fifth was injured in a fall as he ran away, police said.

Police allege that Bell and Oliver shot a transient in nearby Boulder Canyon on Tuesday and a convenience store clerk in Broomfield on Aug. 15.

Bell escaped Aug. 5 from the Four Mile Correctional Center in Canon City, where he was serving a 12-year sentence for check fraud and theft.