EAST PROVIDENCE — The quiet of a sunny, early fall Sunday morning in city in the Central Avenue neighborhood was broken by the sound of at least one gun shot, wounding the victim and sending the alleged perpetrators fleeing from the scene.
At approximately 11:30 a.m., Sept. 29, an apparent altercation that started on the basketball courts at the Onna Moniz John-Central Avenue Playground turned extremely violent. An African-American male, considered to be in his early 20s, was shot. He was eventually treated at the scene by East Providence Fire Department EMS personnel and transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he remained.
“We consider his injuries as life threatening at this point,” said East Providence Police Captain of Detectives John Sequeira, leading the investigation at the scene.
According to both Capt. Sequeira and EPPD Lieutenant Raymond Blinn, a neighbor initially called in a disturbance at the playground. Within minutes, as EPPD officers were en route, the neighbor called back and alerted police about possibly hearing a gunshot.
When police arrived, they found the victim trying to leave the scene. Capt. Sequeira said he was intercepted and treated for his wounds. The victim is not believed to be a resident of the city, however the perpetrators may live in East Providence, the captain added.
Witnesses said several males, at least four in number, were playing basketball when a scuffle broke out. The confrontation, believed at first to be only physical in nature, quickly grew in severity with the gunshot.
The suspect or suspects were seen leaving the area on foot, heading towards Waterman Avenue. He or they remain at large.
Police were canvassing the area in an attempt to gain more information. Capt. Sequeira said a K-9 unit would also assist with the investigation. The shooting, not of the self-inflicted variety, was the first event of gun violence in the city this year, confirmed Capt. Sequeira, who took over charge of the EPPD Detective Unit in January 2013.
Anyone with information on the matter is urged to call the East Providence Police Department at 435-7600.