PROVIDENCE — Miya Brophy-Baermann, 24, spent Saturday night out with her friends, going to a few places before returning to a Providence apartment for a final round of drinks.
Around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, she was talking with a friend outside of the apartment on Olney Street near Roger Williams Green when a car pulled up and suddenly fired several shots, hitting Brophy-Baermann. She was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Her death marked the city’s 13th homicide this year. Police say they believe she was not targeted and surmise the shooters did not know the victim.
“It’s horrible. ... To be such a coward and shoot a gun out of a car like that and take a life is incredible,” Providence Police Major David Lapatin said during a press conference Monday.
“There’s been a lot more guns put on the street,” said Lapatin. “People are buying a mass number of guns and reselling them.”
He said police have confiscated about 144 guns in this city this year. Last year, the department confiscated between 30 and 40 guns, he said.
“As elected officials and community leaders, we must work together to keep guns off our streets and create productive and healthy alternatives for youth in our city,” Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune said in a statement issued Sunday. “This is not who we are as a city.’'
Police are still searching for the car and driver, and Lapatin said plainclothes officers will be knocking on doors in the area, gathering evidence to “put these people in jail.”
Also early Sunday, around the same time Brophy-Baermann was shot, Providence police responded to a shooting behind a complex off of Reservoir Avenue. Five people were shot and taken to the hospital. Two have since been discharged from the hospital. One of the victims was 16, and the others were 20- to 22-years old.
There was a sizable crowd there that night, Lapatin said, with several cars and ATVs.. He said police are not yet sure if there were one or two shooters and if the shooters were firing at each other or into the crowd.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and we haven’t stopped since this started,” said Lapatin. He said the gun task force and intelligence officers are monitoring if there might be any retaliation in the near future. “But we will be ready.”
Police also responded to three stabbings in Providence over the weekend.
On Saturday morning, a man was reported in critical condition after an early-morning stabbing on Federal Hill, according to police. The incident occurred around 2 a.m. outside of the Opa restaurant along Atwells Avenue, according to a tweet update from Providence Police.
The investigation is ongoing, according to police, and no arrests have been made.
A 28 yr-old man is in critical condition at RIH after he was stabbed outside of Opa Restaurant located at 230 Atwells Ave at 2am this morning. Detectives are investigating, his assailant has not been apprehended. Follow us for updates.— Providence Police (@ProvidenceRIPD) July 31, 2021
On Sunday morning, around 2 a.m., police were called for a report of a man stabbed in the chest at Broad and Fricker streets while walking with his girlfriend. The victim, who has not yet been identified, was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. He has since recovered.
“We believe that he knew the attacker,” said Lapatin.
About an hour later, police were again called for a report of stabbing, this time at Union Avenue near Route 10. Lapatin said there appeared to be a car accident that involved three vehicles. One vehicle left the scene immediately, he said, while two stayed behind. He said there was a fight and a man was stabbed. The man tried to drive himself to the hospital, but appeared as though he could not make it, said Lapatin.
“He pulled over on the highway, flagged people down, and one driver saw him there, pulled over, and took him to Rhode Island Hospital, and basically saved his life,” said Lapatin. The man had an emergency surgery and is in recovery.
Lapatin said it’s too early to tell if the victim knew the person who stabbed him. Video of the incident is “telling,” but police “are not ready to make a statement on that yet,” he said.
Lapatin said that detectives from other bureaus have been brought in to help with these recent incidents.
“We make this city as safe as possible, like any other city does. Unfortunately, we did have a bad night, and that happens. Our job is to prevent that from ever happening again,” he said.
Alexa Gagosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.