Warwick police officer fatally shot man who pointed rifle at them during wellness check

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A man was shot and killed by police in Warwick on Monday night after he pointed a rifle at police officers, the Warwick Police Department says.

The incident happened after police officers responded to the Lockwood Condominiums, 3524 West Shore Rd., to check on the well-being of a "reportedly suicidal" man, Warwick Police Chief Bradford E. Connor said in a news release.

The person who called police said they were concerned about the safety of a woman on the property because the man was suicidal and had been drinking, Connor said. Before arriving, the police officers also learned that the man had a loaded firearm, according to Connor.

A state police crime-scene truck and several Warwick police cruisers were still at the scene Tuesday morning.
A state police crime-scene truck and several Warwick police cruisers were still at the scene Tuesday morning.

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Officers were able to get the woman out of the condominium safely, Connor said.

Then, with police officers setting up a perimeter around the condominium unit, they tried to contact the man, according to Connor.

The man twice came out of the condominium with a rifle and pointed it at the officers before going back inside, according to Connor.

When the man came out a third time, he moved towards the officers "while aiming the rifle in their direction and ignored repeated police commands to drop his weapon," Connor said in the release. "One officer discharged his firearm, striking the suspect."

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Warwick Fire Department personnel immediately provided medical aid and brought the man to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:31 p.m., Connor said.

The names of the man and the officers involved have not been released.

A state police crime-scene truck and several Warwick cruisers were on the scene at about 9:30 Tuesday morning.

Dave Coningford, 59, has lived in the Lockwood Condominiums for four years and describes the former school complex as a quiet community.

Having an incident like this happen in the same building where he lives “makes me a little skittish,” he said.

The shooting happened at the other end of his building, he said, and he didn’t hear anything, though he did see flashing police lights out the window and thought it might be a rescue for another resident, a common occurrence.

“It’s a little too close to have a shooting in the same building,” he said. “You never can really tell about people. But the people here are very nice. I haven’t run into anybody that I would think something like this might happen to.”

Bill Halacy, 69, says the last heavy police presence in the condo complex happened several years ago when local police were pursuing a fugitive from another state.

Halacy lives in a separate building about 200 yards from where Monday’s incident took place .

“I’m kind of shocked and I’m thinking the Lockwood (condominium) board needs to take this up and find out who has weapons on the property — if in fact this guy was a resident .... ”

Several residents who did not give their names said their condos have soundproofing to blunt the roar of the jets that pass overhead on takeoff from nearby T.F. Green Airport, which might explain why they heard little commotion outside Monday night.

The incident is under investigation by the attorney general's office, state police and Warwick police.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Man shot and killed by Warwick police after pointing gun at officers

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