PROVIDENCE — A Superior Court judge sentenced a Providence man on Monday to 70 years, with 30 to serve, for attempting to murder a Providence police officer who was responding to a domestic violence call at his home.
Officer Robert Savage was rushing to the call about a man “out of control” just before sunrise on Aug. 11, 2021, when he pulled onto Canton Street and flicked on his spotlight. It illuminated Luis Roman, who’d just assaulted his girlfriend and accidentally dialed 911.
Roman was standing in the street with an AR-15 ghost-gun rifle — which he aimed at Savage’s cruiser and opened fire. As Savage slammed the cruiser into reverse, Roman shot 13 times, hitting the cruiser on the hood and the mounted spotlight, according to prosecutors and police. Roman then ran back into his apartment and fled out a back door, to a home on Sears Avenue, where he later surrendered.
Roman has been held at the Adult Correctional Institutions since his arrest, and that’s where he will remain for the next several decades. Roman, now 32, pleaded guilty on Jan. 17 to assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm during an assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a ghost gun, domestic strangulation, domestic assault with a dangerous weapon, and use of a firearm during domestic assault with a dangerous weapon.
During Monday’s hearing, Judge Robert D. Krause sentenced Roman to 70 years, with 30 years to serve at the ACI, which includes 10 years that are non-parolable. The judge also issued a 40-year, non-parolable, suspended sentence.
“It should come as no surprise to Rhode Islanders that the men and women in local law enforcement work hard to ensure public safety, knowing that significant risk to their own wellbeing is never far away,” Attorney General Peter Neronha said in a statement Tuesday. “This is yet another case that vividly illustrates the scope of that risk, made worse with illegal firearms in the hands someone willing to use them regardless of consequence. The defendant’s intent here was clear: to kill or seriously injure a police officer coming to the aid of a victim of domestic abuse. His conduct merits the harshest of penalties and deserves the decades of imprisonment imposed by Court today.”
When they searched Roman’s apartment, the Providence police found the AR-15 rifle, equipped with a large-capacity magazine, that was used to shoot at the officer, along with a a stolen 9mm semi-automatic handgun and several opened and unopened boxes of various calibers of ammunition, according to the attorney general’s office.
“The men and women of the Providence Police Department put their lives on the line every day to ensure public safety, sometimes stepping into harm’s way in the process,” said Providence Police Chief Oscar Perez. “I am proud of the work conducted by our officers throughout this investigation and thank the prosecutors at the Office of the Attorney General for bringing the defendant to justice.”
Amanda Milkovits can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMilkovits.