Off-duty sheriff forces suspect to ground after victim runs for help

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence police said an off-duty Sheriff’s Deputy captured a deadly stabbing suspect and held him at gunpoint until officials arrived.

David Allison, 34, is accused of stabbing three women, killing one.

The two surviving women remained in the hospital as of noon Wednesday. Providence Police Maj. David Lapatin said one was in serious condition and the other had injuries that were serious, but not life-threatening.

Chief Sheriff David DeCesare said Deputy Sheriff Edward Cooper’s training kicked in when a gruesome murder scene unfolded across the street.

“As two of the females laid on the floor, one dying, the third female ran from the house,” explained DeCesare.

When one of the women got away, she ran across the street and called on Deputy Sheriff Cooper for help.

“He told him to drop his weapon, and get down on his knees,” recalled eyewitness Devon Lavall.

“He performed admirably, showed great restraint in the manner in which he conducted himself in the manner in which he did not need, or felt he needed to use deadly force on the suspect, in which in my understanding could’ve been justified in this matter,” Chief Sheriff David DeCesare said.

Deputy Sheriff Cooper kept Allison on the ground until police arrived. After this act of heroism, followed by trauma, Deputy Sheriff Cooper is now taking some time off to spend with family.

“We’re not impermeable to emotions, we’re not robots. we’re human beings, we have emotions and these things affect us as much as anybody else.”

The homicide is Providence’s 11th of 2015. Eyewitness News looked through the Providence police crime reports for the past five years, and found there were the fewest number of homicides in 2011 – with just six through the last week of August – but the next four years all had similar numbers, with 14 in 2012 and 11 in 2013 and 2014.

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