Rhode island shooting claims two lives; shooter killed

Special Operations unit arrives after state police announced they were conducting a search for armed persons following a traffic stop in Wakefield, Massachusetts, US. — Reuters/File

Authorities said Police gunned down Wednesday an armed man, who was suspected of a shooting in a Rhode Island neighbourhood, killing two people.

One person was found dead in the suspect’s residence while the other one was found in a neighbour’s home Wednesday, said Police, adding that “a domestic and neighbourhood dispute sparked the killings.”

Police did not reveal the identities of the victims.

The shooting occurred in Johnston, a town of about 30,000 people located 11 miles West of Providence, Rhode Island.

Authorities maintained that after responding to the initial shooting reports in a residential area, multiple police departments chased a car toward a nearby highway.

Cranston Police Chief Michael Winquist told reporters James Harrison of Johnston fled in a vehicle and was spotted about 9:30am by Cranston police.

Harrison was shot and killed by police after a car chase in an interaction that involved dozens of gunshots, authorities noted.

Winquist added: “During the car chase, Harrison drove the wrong way on a major road, swerved at several police vehicles, and struck one. Harrison then jumped the median and struck a rock, disabling his vehicle.”

Officials also explained that the man emerged from the vehicle brandishing a handgun at police and shots were fired with no one injured.

Rhode Island State Police Col. Darnell Weaver confirmed that the suspect was shot by police and died at the scene.

The state attorney general’s office has initiated the investigation on the deadly use of force by law enforcement agencies, which is standard protocol, an official spokesperson said.

According to The Johnston Sunrise, witnesses reported hearing “more than 50 gunshots” after police shot and apprehended the suspect along Plainfield Pike. 

Russell Thompson, a superintendent at a nearby construction site, said he had been in a trailer that’s about 800 to 1000 feet from the overpass where the interaction between police and Harrison took place.

“I heard the shots,” said Thompson, 59, estimating that he heard more than 30 shots.

Johnston Mayor Joe Polisena told town residents Wednesday morning that the threat to public safety was over after the shooter was “apprehended.”

“The danger to the public is over,” the mayor said on Twitter.

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