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Shooting on busy I-95 in Providence shuts down highway

WCVB-TV

Associated Press 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Authorities are swarming over Interstate 95 in Providence following a midmorning shooting Thursday on a busy stretch of road that runs along the city’s downtown.

Interstate ramps near Providence Place mall were closed. Several ambulances and the medical examiner could be seen on a ramp to northbound I-95 next to the mall. Officials from the state attorney general’s office also were in the area.

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Providence Police Chief High Clements told WLNE-TV there was a shooting. Police did not immediately release more details.

They also did not immediately say whether the shooting was related to the theft of a state police cruiser earlier in the day.

State Police Col. Ann Assumpico said the cruiser was taken around 9 a.m. Thursday during a traffic stop. It was found within the hour abandoned in Providence, but the thief was not located. Police then launched a search throughout the neighborhood and were seen searching with rifles and dogs.

Emergency management officials asked people to avoid the area around the highway and mall. A robocall from an emergency alert service to downtown Providence offices told people to avoid the area.

‘‘An incident occurred in the downtown Providence area. Multiple road closures and backups on 95,’’ It said.

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Traffic was backed up on the highway and into downtown.