Shooting claims life of assistant fire chief

By Ethan Hartley
Posted 9/2/21

Brian Remy, Assistant Chief for the Warren Fire Department, was killed following an incident that began at the Italo American Club in Warren on Thursday afternoon...

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Shooting claims life of assistant fire chief


This story has been updated

Brian Remy, the 66-year-old Assistant Chief of the Warren Fire Department, was killed following a shooting that occurred at the Italo American Club on Kelly Street Thursday afternoon, police confirmed during a press conference on Thursday night.

The shooter was identified as Michael Ouellette, 37, president of the Italo American Club, who was pronounced dead in an alleyway outside of his residence at 135 Water Street. Police could not determine as of last night whether Mr. Ouellette died as a result of a gunshot from police, or if he died of a self-inflicted gunshot. The incident is under active investigation by the Warren and Bristol Police Departments, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, and the Rhode Island State Police.

Warren Police Chief Roy Borges told the media that Warren police responded to the Italo American Club around 3 p.m. after receiving reports of a shooting. Once there, officers found Jason Furtado, 41, lying in the parking lot with a gunshot wound in his hip area. He indicated the shooter may still be inside the building, and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital. His status is unknown at this time.

As two Bristol Police officers in an unmarked vehicle were driving north on Water Street towards the area of the shooting, Bristol Police Major Brian Burke reported that one of the officers heard a “popping noise,” and then looked to the left to see an individual who matched the description of the suspect.

“The vehicle was then turned around and one officer, the driver of the vehicle, exited the vehicle, at which point he immediately became under fire from a suspect standing at 135 Water Street,” Major Burke said. “The officer then immediately took cover and returned fire.”

Major Burke said that following the exchange of fire, officers moved into the alleyway and found Mr. Ouellette unresponsive on the ground, where he was pronounced deceased.

“It was clear that the subject had intent of harming the officer,” Major Burke said.

Warren Fire Chief James Sousa spoke about Mr. Remy as a well-respected member of the community and fire department. He had been an active member of the department for 40 years, and spent 30 as assistant chief.

“Just a dedicated member and a lot of years, a lot of history of serving the citizens of Warren — day, night, storms, so on — he was responding to the call to do what was needed,” Chief Sousa said. “Just an all around good person to have on the department and a good mentor for members as well.”

The area was in a state of frenzy Thursday afternoon as police cruisers from Warren, Bristol and Barrington cordoned off Water Street and a roll of police tape closed off access to the Italo American Club.

Eyewitnesses across the street from the Italo American Club described hearing three loud noises they thought were fireworks. They later witnessed a man, now identifed as Mr. Furtado, come out with noticeable gunshot wounds before being loaded into an ambulance.

“We were in the back playing and we heard what we thought were fireworks. Just three, ‘pop, pop. pop,’ ” said eyewitness Ashley Brisson. “Then the next thing we knew we had the whole Warren Police Department here.”

“It’s a very quiet street,” said eyewitness Amber Dias. “This is the last thing you would expect over here.”

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.