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RI CRIME

Man who shot Providence police officer sentenced to 60 years in prison

Tyrone Robinson was 19 and out on bail on gun charges in August 2019 when he opened fire on two police officers in their unmarked car, shooting one in the chest and partially penetrating his bulletproof vest.

PROVIDENCE — A local man who shot a Providence police officer in the chest — partially penetrating his bulletproof vest — was sentenced Wednesday to 60 years in prison.

Tyrone Robinson was 19 and out on bail on gun charges on Aug. 9, 2019 when he pulled into the busy Dollar Tree plaza on Admiral Street that afternoon. Two officers in the violent crimes task force also drove in, and when he saw their unmarked car, Robinson opened fire.

Officer Matthew McGloin was hit in the chest, and his partner, Jonathan Smith, returned fire. Robinson escaped and ran to his home close by on Douglas Avenue, where he eventually surrendered and was charged with 10 felonies. Police found the handgun and spent magazine on a nearby basketball court.

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Three years and nearly five months later, Robinson accepted a plea agreement.

On Wednesday, Robinson pleaded no contest to four felonies: assault with intent to murder, intent to murder, discharge of a firearm while committing a crime of violence, and carrying a pistol without a license.

Now, just two weeks shy of his 23rd birthday, Robinson is facing spending most of his adult life in prison.

Superior Court Judge Robert D. Krause sentenced Robinson to 60 years, with 40 to serve at the Adult Correctional Institutions, and a 20-year non-parolable suspended sentence, said attorney general’s spokesman Brian Hodge. When he is released, Robinson will be on probation for 60 years, Hodge said.

“It was a real-life, scary episode, and thank God they weren’t seriously injured or fatally,” said Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. “I compliment and commend the attorney general’s office for the prosecution of the case. They fully consulted with us every step of the way.”

The case was investigated by Providence Detective David Perez and Detective Sergeant Terrence Green and prosecuted by assistant attorney general John Perotta and special assistant attorney general Alison Bittl.

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“The men and women in law enforcement in Providence and beyond work hard to ensure the safety of Rhode Islanders every day, knowing that significant risk to their own safety is never far away,” Attorney General Peter Neronha said in a statement. “This case vividly illustrates the scope of that risk, and the danger of illegal firearms in the hands of those all too willing to use them, regardless of consequence. The defendant’s intent here was clear: to kill or seriously injure a police officer, with civilians nearby, and in broad daylight. His conduct deserves the harshest of penalties and merits the decades of imprisonment imposed by Court today. I remain enormously grateful to the men and women of the Providence Police Department for their work in this case and in so many others.”

This story was updated to include comments from the Providence police chief and attorney general .


Amanda Milkovits can be reached at amanda.milkovits@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMilkovits.