PROVIDENCE — A Warwick police officer fatally shot and killed a man who authorities said advanced toward police and pointed a rifle in their direction Monday night.
According to a Warwick Police Department account of the shooting, police went to the Lockwood Condominiums at West Shore Road at 10:38 p.m. to check on the well-being of a man who was reportedly suicidal and drinking. Police said the person who called them was worried about a woman who was there. Before they arrived, police said, officers received information that the man was armed.
Officers responded to the scene, and were able to get the woman out safely, the Warwick Police Department said. The man, they said, came outside the condo unit with a rifle and pointed it at officers before going back inside. He did this a second time, they said, and then a third. The third time, he “advanced towards the officers while aiming the rifle in their direction and ignored repeated police commands to drop his weapon,” police said. One officer opened fire, striking the man, the department said.
The Warwick Fire Department immediately rendered aid and the man was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:31 p.m.
City police did not release the name of the officer or the man who was shot, but said “more information will be made available in the upcoming days.” The Rhode Island State Police and state attorney general’s office are investigating along with the Warwick Police Department, as is the policy for police shootings in the state.
Monday night’s shooting is believed to be the first police shooting in Warwick since 2014, when Kenneth Cunningham was shot by city police. WPRI reported in 2015 that Cunningham crashed into multiple police cruisers and shot at them after fleeing on foot. Police returned fire and injured Cunningham, the report said. Cunningham pleaded to assault and weapons charges.