Nine people were injured Thursday evening in a targeted Rhode Island shooting. Three victims were “very seriously injured, maybe critically” but only one was taken from the scene to the Rhode Island Hospital by ambulance, whereas the others took private cars.
Police said the attack took place around 6:47 p.m. in Providence, Rhode Island, where there is an “ongoing feud” taking place between the “young men” involved. The victims were between 15 and 19, according to police.
“This was not random. It was targeted at that address,” Providence Police Chief Hugh Clement said during a news conference.
According to Clement, four to five guns had been used in the encounter. When the assailant shot at the house from their vehicle, victims from inside the house shot back. Clements confirmed that several dozen shots were fired.
“Young men had no regard for life at times, fired their guns willingly at each other,” Clements told reporters. He continued on to say that the suspects and the victims “might be one and the same” and that “there’ll be names you may recognize.” The Chief seemed frustrated with Thursday’s events and promised that legal steps would be taken.
No arrests have been made yet, although there is an investigation being conducted. After the shooting, police officers joined the victims at the hospital to protect them from teens in the opposing group who may have been waiting there. Once entering the hospital safely, the victims were then questioned. According to authorities, all victims and suspects are between the ages of 19 and 25.
This shooting comes after a week of many others across the United States, but Rhode Island officials are “disappointed” it occurred in their area. The state has gone to great lengths to create a safe environment, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
“We’ve taken a lot of guns off the street this year. Almost double the amount of last year,” Clement said. “We have a gun issue in this city.”
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced that there would be extra patrol and security in the neighborhood to make residents feel safe in the upcoming days. Elorza says he was “shaken” after hearing about the unnerving attack.
“This has to stop. the young people involved believing that the way to solve their disputes is with a handgun. I mean, that just can’t be the way,” Mayor Elorza said at the news conference. “It’s just too easy to access these guns and we have to do something about that.”