Providence police chief defends use of force in I-95 shooting |

Providence police chief defends use of force in I-95 shooting

The Associated Press
Police congregate on a highway on a ramp near the Providence Place Mall amid reports of a shooting, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Providence, R.I. (Lisa Newby/Providence Journal via AP)
A Rhode Island State policeman walks past a white pickup truck with multiple bullet holes in the windows and right side at the scene of a shooting on Interstate 95 in Providence, R.I., Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Bob Breidenbach /Providence Journal via AP)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The police chief in Providence is defending his officers’ use of force in a morning shooting on Interstate 95 in Rhode Island.

Several officers were chasing a white pickup truck with two people inside when the shooting happened Thursday. One man was killed and a woman was injured.

WFXT-TV reports Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements says several officers on scene received enough of a threat to use that type of force.

Clements said the truck driver was behaving so aggressively, he was causing a huge public safety risk and several people were in danger.

Police found no weapons in the truck.

A witness who filmed the shooting from a neighboring on-ramp told news outlets that the driver was boxed in on the road and slammed into cars behind him and in front of him as officers surrounded it.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare tells WPRI-TV that some of the officers were wearing body cameras during the shooting, which happened Thursday around 10:45 a.m. on a jam-packed section of road where two highways merge alongside the city’s downtown.

Pare said they are now reviewing the footage. He said nine or 10 officers fired their weapons. They are all on administrative leave, protocol in any officer-involved shooting, he said.

The attorney general’s office is reviewing the shooting.

Police haven’t released the identity of the man killed or female passenger injured. They have said she is expected to survive.

The man killed was not the suspect in the theft of a state police cruiser around 9 a.m., Pare said Thursday. But the police chief in neighboring Cranston told WPRI that state police had alerted area officers that the suspect may have jumped in the back of a white pickup truck.

Cranston Police Col. Michael Winquist said an officer saw a white pickup driving erratically and pulled it over, but the driver took off. The officer followed the truck but lost it, he said. Later, they confirmed that the truck in the shooting was the same one that had fled in Cranston, he told the station.

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