WARWICK, R.I. — Police have identified 29-year-old Jacob Thomas as the suspect who allegedly jabbed a police officer with a knife Friday afternoon during a confrontation in the lobby of Warwick Police headquarters.
Thomas was shot by officers and once he is released, he will be formally charged with felony assault, Warwick Police said in a statement on Facebook. The officer who was struck by the knife was identified as Jessica Masso. She was not injured in the attack.
Officer Oliver Pinheiro (three years), Officer Michael Bailey (three and a half years), and Sergeant Walter Larson (seven years) were also involved in the incident.
According to a statement by police, a group of officers were entering the main lobby of police headquarters Friday at 4:20 p.m. after a briefing in the community room when they were confronted by a 29-year-old man holding a knife. He allegedly lunged at officers and struck Masso in the torso but she was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not injured, according to Warwick Police.
The officers fired their weapons and hit the suspect causing him to take several steps back. The suspect charged a second time, still holding the knife, and officers fired their weapons gain.
The suspect fell to the ground and ignored officers’ repeated commands to drop the knife. He attempted to get up and allegedly continued to point the knife at officers. But officers deployed a Taser that caused the man to drop the knife and he was taken into custody.
Officers rendered medical aid to the man and called Warwick Rescue, according to the police statement. The man was transported to Rhode Island Hospital in stable condition.
The officers were placed on non-punitive administrative leave pending an administrative review.
The front lobby of the police department was closed for about 16 hours while the state police and attorney general’s office investigated the incident. The state police and attorney general’s office investigation is standard for officer-involved shootings in Rhode Island.
Mayor Frank Picozzi said in a statement on Facebook regarding the shooting.
“There was an officer involved shooting at the Warwick Police Station. A subject was transported to the hospital. A joint investigation consisting of the Attorney General’s office, RI State Police and the Warwick Police Department is underway,”' he wrote. There won’t be any further details or comments until the conclusion of the investigation. Any media inquiries have to be made to the police.”
This is the second time Warwick police have shot someone in two months. In November, police shot and killed a man who had barricaded himself inside the Lockwood Condominiums and then advanced on officers with a rifle.