Authorities Provide More Details on Providence Shooting
PROVIDENCE — Authorities in Rhode Island have identified the two people shot in yesterday's officer-involved shooting in Providence.
During a press conference Friday afternoon, the man who had been driving the white pickup truck who was shot and killed by officers was identified as 32-year-old Joseph Santos. The woman who was a passenger in the truck and was also struck has been identified as 37-year-old Christine Demers. She is still in Rhode Island Hospital after making it through surgery.
Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements says 40 rounds were fired at the truck, and that Santos was shot "a couple of times." He says 20 rounds hit the truck itself. Clements said Providence Police got a tip that the man who had escaped state police custody and stolen a cruiser, 35-year-old Donald Morgan of Providence, had been seen getting into a white pickup truck after abandoning the cruiser. Police began pulling over several white pickups, and the one driven by Santos wouldn't stop for police, and was driving in a very aggressive manner.
Santos had two outstanding warrants, one of which was for a probation violation, and the other for a domestic incident. Police believe this is why he refused to stop.
Traffic cam footage shows the white pickup driving in a dangerous manner, and ramming other vehicles, including the car directly in front of the truck in an attempt to flee from police. Police say they made every attempt to disable the truck or get him to stop.
Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said after the stolen state police cruiser was found, the information that the officer's weapon was still in the cruiser was not broadcast over police radio channels, leading officers to believe that Morgan was still armed. The windows on the truck were completely blacked out, so officers had no idea if it was Morgan inside, and if there were any weapons in the truck.
Chief Clements said that once police had the vehicle pulled over, five Providence officers eventually fired at Santos, "doing exactly what we would want them to do in stopping an imminent threat."
Police say a civilian was injured in the shooting, taken to the hospital and released. They also said that the search continues for Morgan, although he is not considered armed and dangerous. The five Providence Police officers that fired their weapons are now on administrative duty.
Here's the video Providence Police have posted on their Facebook page, showing how dangerously Santos was driving: