Health Care

Shooting Victim, Cruiser Theft Suspect Knew One Another

Police have said the shooting was justified because Santos was putting lives at risk.

They said Joseph Santos, 32, the shooting victim, did know Donald Morgan, 35, accused in the cruiser theft, but did not elaborate on how. Morgan's ex-girlfriend told news outlets Morgan and Santos were close friends, and Providence Police Commissioner Steven Pare told WPRI-TV that investigators were looking into whether Santos helped Morgan escape.

Police have said Santos took off on a Cranston police officer who attempted to pull him over, which led to the high-speed chase.

Officers said they fired on him because he was using his vehicle as a unsafe weapon, and they feared for the lives of nearby drivers as well as their own.

A Providence District Court judge Tuesday ordered Morgan held as a bail violator during his arraignment on a half-dozen charges related both to an earlier auto theft and the cruiser theft.

The superintendent was not part of the chase or at the scene of a recovered stolen state police cruiser that also figured in Thursday's events, Kirk said, adding the colonel was heading to a meeting in Providence "and responded to the shooting scene when she heard the calls".

That shooting came less than two hours after they said Morgan, handcuffed and being transported to court, managed to steal the cruiser he was riding in while the driver, Trooper Michael Doherty, got out to investigate a crash on Route 146. The cruiser was later found abandoned.

Police searching for Morgan that morning received a tip that he may have jumped into the back of a white pickup.

On Friday, police released body camera and DOT video showing the pursuit and shooting that resulted in Santos' death.

Rhode Island State Police have released the names of the troopers involved in a deadly shooting on a busy stretch of Interstate 95.

Providence police previously said five officers had fired 20 shots at the pickup truck, and those officers were placed on administrative leave.

"Colonel Assumpico was at the scene and she, along with other members of the Rhode Island State Police, rendered first aid to the female passenger in the truck", Kirk said in an email.

Col. Ann Assumpico says both incidents are under investigation.

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