WARREN, R.I. — Investigators found that the Warren man who killed an assistant fire chief and wounded another man at the Italo-American Social Club late last week died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said Friday that social club president Michael Ouellette, who’d also exchanged fire with Bristol Police Major Scott McNally, had killed himself, citing the state medical examiner’s office.
While an investigation by the attorney general’s office, Bristol and Warren police, and the state police determined that McNally’s shots did not kill Ouellette, there are few answers about what ignited the carnage at the small social club on a dead end street.
Ouellette, 37, who was the president of the social club, had been at the club earlier on Sept. 2. A patron later told police that he heard Ouellette mumbling something like “someone is going to get it today,” according to an affidavit accompanying a search warrant.
Ouellette left and then returned sometime after 3 p.m. A bartender said he was outside smoking a cigarette when Ouellette asked him where another club director was, the affidavit said. The bartender said the other man had just left, but Ouellette went through the side door into the bar, and walked up to assistant fire chief Brian Remy and shot him in the back of the head, the affidavit said.
Ouellette also shot a patron, Jason Furtado, who tried to run; the wounded man crawled into the kitchen and was found by first responders in the parking lot.
The bartender and another patron said that Ouellette looked at both of them and told them that they were his friends and he wasn’t going to hurt them, the affidavit said. One of the patrons ran to Patriot Liquor down the street and called 911.
McNally and another Bristol officer were rushing to help Warren police officers responding to calls about an active shooter at the social club when they heard a popping of gunfire near their cruiser as they drove on Water Street.
They stopped and got out, and immediately came under fire by Ouellette, who was outside his house at 135 Water St.
McNally fired back at Ouellette, who disappeared into his fenced yard. A cell phone video from a neighbor showed a man who resembled Ouellette standing in the alley and then shooting himself in the head.
The Warren police searched Ouellette’s apartment and seized several firearms, ammunition rounds, a hunting vest, and assorted medication bottles.
On Wednesday, firefighters and other first-responders from around Rhode Island came out to Warren and Bristol to pay their respects to Remy.
The 66-year-old Warren native was well-known and well-loved in town, where he’d been born and raised, and where he began volunteering for the fire department in 1973. He was a plumber who had a boat called the “Royal Flush,” a close follower of politics who sold a style of hot dogs he called “RemDogs.”
The incident left this small East Bay town in what people uniformly describe as a state of shock.