Rhode Island police officers shot and killed a man and wounded a woman in a pickup truck on Interstate 95 near downtown Providence Thursday. It remains unclear why officers shot at the pair in the pickup, or to what extent the incident was related to a stolen police car earlier that morning.
State Police Col. Ann Assumpico and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steve Pare said their agencies are reviewing the events, officer body cam footage, and citizen videos of the shooting, to learn more about what happened.
“The investigation continues,” Pare said Thursday afternoon. He said the stolen State Police cruiser and the officer involved shooting were unrelated, though it seems both involved a white pickup truck.
At about 11 am on Thursday morning, police from Cranston and Providence were in pursuit of a white pickup truck, which came to a stop on an exit ramp near the Providence Place Mall. An eyewitness said the driver was ramming into cars on the highway exit and refused to leave the vehicle when officers began to approach with guns drawn.
Moments later at least 8 shots were fired, leaving the driver dead and the passenger wounded.
Providence police said no weapons were found in the pickup truck. Answering a reporter’s question on Thursday afternoon, Pare said the shooting was not a tragic accident by police. “We’re investigating why this person did not stop and why police officers had to use deadly force,” he told reporters.
The woman was brought to Miriam Hospital and is expected to survive.
While Pare said there is no relationship to a stolen State Police car that happened a few hours before the shooting, both incidents seem to have a white pickup truck in common.
Earlier in the day, State Police arrested Donald Morgan and were bringing him to court when the arresting State Trooper stopped for a traffic accident. He exited the cruiser to check on the accident when Morgan allegedly climbed into the front seat of the cruiser and, while handcuffed, drove away.
“About an hour and a half after the cruiser was stolen, according to Cranston Police Col. Michael Winquist, a call went out across police radio channels asking officers across the state to be on the lookout for a white Ford F150 with something “hanging out the back,” reports the Providence Journal. “The broadcast led the officer to suspect Morgan might be in the truck, Winquist said.”