State police colonel rendered aid to shooting victim

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – R.I. State Police Col. Ann Assumpico was on scene shortly after last week’s officer-involved shooting and rendered aid to the passenger of a pickup truck who was shot by police, the agency confirmed Tuesday.

Christine Demers was in the passenger seat of the white pickup that fled police and began ramming cars in what investigators say was an attempt to escape capture. The driver of the truck – Joseph Santos – was killed in a hail of gunfire from Providence police officers and state troopers. Demers, 37, was also shot but is recovering at R.I. Hospital, according to police officials.

Christine Demers Facebook photo

In response to questions, Rhode Island State Police spokesperson Laura Meade Kirk said Assumpico was on the on-ramp to I-95 North from Memorial Boulevard moments after the shooting took place.

“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.

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.”

Col. Ann Assumpico (Photo: Scott Del Sole | WPRI 12)

Kirk declined to provide further details about Assumpico’s involvement. “We are not going to elaborate beyond that at this time,” she said.

Video from RIDOT traffic cameras of the scene shows the colonel on scene one minute after officers and troopers opened fire on the truck.

Santos, 32, was shot and killed by police, ending a chaotic search for a suspect wanted for stealing the cruiser earlier in the morning. Police said they received a tip that the suspect – Donald Morgan – may have jumped in the back of a white pickup truck.

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

Tim White ( twhite@wpri.com ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook

Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan