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Providence police seek gunman who opened fire at festival

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Providence police are searching for a gunman who opened fire in a crowded downtown intersection during PVDFest late Saturday night.

Panicked crowds attending the international arts and culture festival scattered as gunfire erupted around 11 p.m. Major David Lapatin said police officers heard the shots and ran toward the scene, but the suspect had fled. Five shell casings were recovered at Washington and Union streets, he said.

No one was injured and no detailed description of the gunman was given.

The hugely popular four-day festival in downtown Providence features more than 1,500 artists, including musical acts, theater, poetry and dance. Last year, the festival drew about 100,000 visitors.

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Two years ago, an innocent bystander was left paralyzed after what was believed to be a gang-involved drive-by shooting during PVDFest. Mike Marrow was interviewing one of the hip-hop artists after a performance for the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative, near the festival, when he was shot and wounded.


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