WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A man wanted in California was shot multiple times Monday after exchanging gunfire with police in Warwick.
Kenneth Cunningham, 39, is in critical condition after he was shot on Arnolds Neck Drive, according to police.
Police said the incident began in the Oakland Beach area when an officer spotted a suspicious Ford F-150 and ran the plates, revealing that Cunningham was wanted for a parole violation in a California murder case. Police pursued the truck to Lockwood Condominiums when the suspect pulled out a gun and pointed at the officers, and gunfire was exchanged.
Cunningham fled the scene, then later abandoned his vehicle and ran on foot over train tracks near Arnolds Neck Drive. Police caught up to him and said the suspect again pulled out his gun and started firing. He was struck several times by the return fire from police.
“They were telling the guy to put his hands down, drop the gun, put his hands up in the air, and they were shooting back and forth,” an eyewitness said.
No officers were injured in the ordeal.
Warwick Police Colonel Stephen McCartney said a number of warrants were out for Cunningham’s arrest in other parts of the state, mainly for a stolen vehicle.
The three officers that fired their weapons are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by Rhode Island State Police and the attorney general’s office.
“There’s no question that any time deadly force is use, it’s a serious situation,” said Col. McCartney.