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RI CRIME

Johnston police officer returns fire after chase into Providence

The officer had pursued two people in a van, who left the vehicle and fled on foot. When one opened fire at the officer, he returned fire, according to Johnston police.

PROVIDENCE — A Johnston officer shot at fleeing suspects who had allegedly shot at him after a pursuit into Providence just before 2 a.m. on Monday.

A radio call had just gone out to be on the lookout for a silver GMC Savana involved in a shooting in Providence, when an officer in Johnston saw the van traveling on Newman Avenue.

The officer pursued the van less than a mile into Providence’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, when the vehicle suddenly stopped at Maynard and Unit streets, and two people jumped out and started to run, according to the Johnston police.

As the officer ran after the pair, one turned and opened fire, according to the Johnston police. The officer, who has not yet been identified, returned fire.

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The suspects escaped, though it wasn’t clear whether either was struck. The officer was not injured.

The Providence police and state police are investigating a connection with a shooting in the Wanskuck neighborhood involving the GMC van just a few minutes earlier. Providence Police Major David Lapatin said that a man reported being shot near 89 Vandewater St. at around 1:30 a.m. The man, whose identity was not released, was taken to Rhode Island Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Providence Police Chief Oscar Perez said that while there were radio transmissions between Johnston and Providence police at the time, the Providence police were not involved with the pursuit.

“I am happy that the officer is safe and OK,” Perez said.

The Johnston police, state police, and attorney general’s office are investigating the police shooting, as is protocol for officer-involved shootings in Rhode Island.

This story has been updated with information about an earlier shooting.


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