Minutes after release, DUI suspect arrested on firearms charges

DUI suspect Shawn Lavoie and firearms seized by police (Photos: Coventry Police Department)

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — Police arrested a Coventry man twice within three hours Thursday and said more charges against him are possible.

According to police, officers took Shawn Lavoie into custody under suspicion of DUI at about 1:35 a.m. They said he submitted to a breathalyzer test, which registered a .192 BAC, and an officer brought him back to his Greenhouse Road home at about 4:11 a.m.

At 4:14 a.m., police said they responded to a report of gunfire in the same area. Officers found dozens of spent rifle casings around the front steps of Lavoie’s home and said they could infer they were recently fired since the snow had melted beneath them.

Lavoie, 25, was arrested a second time, at which police noticed he was wearing body armor under his jacket.

Body armor worn by Shawn Lavoie during his second arrest (Photo: Coventry Police)

Police said the investigation revealed Lavoie had been firing toward Greenhouse Road, where the transporting officer had been driving just minutes beforehand.

According to police, a review of Lavoie’s posts on Facebook around the time of the incident revealed that he posted “All police deserve to [expletive] die,” among other threatening and racist comments towards the officer who drove him home after his first arrest.

In addition to his first DUI offense, Lavoie was charged with carrying a weapon while intoxicated, altering the marks of identification on a firearm, and firing across a highway. Investigators are working to determine if the incident rises to the level of a hate crime and said further charges may be brought against Lavoie.

Lavoie was arraigned on the firearms charges Thursday and released on personal recognizance. Police said he was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.