A Cranston police officer shot at a driver Saturday after the man failed to stop and drove his car in the direction of the officer, police said.
The bullet struck the windshield of the vehicle driven by Anthony T. McKinney Jr., 28, of Providence, according to a press release issued by Cranston police.
McKinney was not injured and was placed under arrest following the incident that occurred just after 11 a.m., the release said.
He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital after “making claims of a heart-related issue,” and is expected to be released Saturday night, authorities said.
The officer, an eight-year veteran of the department, also was not injured, according to the release.
The officer was completing a motor vehicle stop on Cranston Street when he observed McKinney drive past him without wearing a seat-belt.
The officer followed him north toward Niantic Avenue in Providence and activated the cruiser lights to pull the suspect over, the release said.
McKinney first appeared to be pulling over to the right, but then pulled into the left lane, “in an apparent attempt to flee,” and proceeded to sideswipe a car stopped in traffic, police said.
Due to heavy traffic, McKinney could not continue forward. As the officer approached on foot, McKinney placed his vehicle into reverse, “quickly passing the officer the wrong way down Cranston Street,” before striking a guardrail, the release said.
With McKinney’s car pointed at him, the officer “pointed his firearm at the suspect while shouting commands for the driver to stop,” according to police.
Instead, McKinney drove the car “directly at the officer,” who fired one round from his gun, police said.
An off-duty state trooper who was in the parking lot of a nearby convenience store heard the gunshot “and observed the Cranston officer in the middle of the roadway,” according to the release.
The trooper assisted with the arrest of McKinney. State Police are expected to file charges against him, the release said.
McKinney has an lengthy criminal history, including a conviction in 2011 for armed robbery. He received a 15-year sentence, but was released on Jan. 31, police said.
The Providence police also have an active warrant for his arrest for alleged assault.
Cranston police chief, Colonel Michael J. Winquist, said that he believes the shooting was justified.
“Based on a preliminary investigation, I support the officer’s actions,” he said in the release.
“The suspect unnecessarily created an extremely dangerous situation that endangered the officer’s life and the general public.”
Adam Sennott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org