Police in Providence fatally shot a man and wounded a woman Thursday morning during a harrowing encounter on Interstate 95 near Providence Place Mall, roughly two hours after a handcuffed suspect stole a State Police cruiser.
Initial media reports had suggested the cruiser theft and later shootings were linked, but Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré told reporters at an afternoon press briefing that the two incidents did not appear to be related.
The man who stole the cruiser remained at large Thursday afternoon.
Police had pursued the man and woman before opening fire, but the reasons for the chase and the use of force were not explained.
A 79-second video clip posted to the website of the Providence Journal captured bursts of gunfire on a busy ramp to I-95 near a white pickup truck and several officers who were on foot.
Paré did not say if investigators recovered a weapon from the truck.
Nor did he identify the man who was killed or the woman, who he said remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon. Her condition was not known.
Speaking at the same briefing, State Police Colonel Ann Assumpico identified the suspect in the cruiser theft as Donald Morgan, 35.
State Police said Morgan was riding handcuffed in the cruiser around 9 a.m. when the trooper stopped at a crash scene on Route 146 to assist. Morgan managed to hop into the driver’s seat of the cruiser and pull away, officials said.
The cruiser was recovered after Morgan abandoned it in Providence.
Assumpico said Morgan had been arrested Monday on charges of obstruction and receiving a stolen vehicle.
State Police urged anyone with information on Morgan’s whereabouts to call 401-444-1000. They released a booking photo showing severe bruising and cuts on his face and his right eye nearly swollen.
State Police said shortly before 2 p.m. via Twitter that “on-ramps from Route 6 East and Memorial Boulevard to Interstate 95 North in Providence will be closed until further notice.”
The ramps were re-opened later Thursday, according to a tweet from State Police.
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