Cops felt bullets ‘whizzing by’ in deadly shootout

Target 12 Investigation: Providence police rarely use their guns >>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence’s police confirmed it was indeed a bullet from an officer’s gun that killed a man during a police-involved gunfight over the weekend.

The shooting happened just before 11 p.m. Saturday on Canton Street near Chalkstone Avenue.

According to Maj. David Lapatin, three police officers were driving by when they happened upon a gun battle between two feuding groups on the 100 block of Canton Ave. At that point, both groups began to fire at officers, who then fired back, Lapatin said.

One man was killed in the altercation. Lapatin identified him Monday afternoon as Douglas Cooper, 18.

Col. Hugh Clements, Providence’s police chief said the officers involved in the shooting were experienced.

“I can tell you, the police officers from Providence [who were] involved are well-trained. They’re well-tested. They’re very experienced. And, they felt the bullets whizzing by,” Clements said. “This was very high-risk…extremely dangerous.”

Officers from both Providence Police and Rhode Island State Police responded to the scene, where several shell casings were found. Clements said investigators seized four guns from the incident, including one from the deceased.

As per protocol, the officers involved are assigned to desk duty while the investigation continues.

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