A high-speed chase through a Rhode Island town left ammunition strewn on the roadway and a man from Florida in custody, police said.
Police responded to a shots fired call on Dec. 1 when the back window of a car parked in the driveway of a home was shot out and a vehicle was spotted speeding away, according to a Dec. 2 news release from the East Providence Police Department.
Police said they believed the shooting was a “targeted attack,” and just minutes after officers were given the description of the fleeing vehicle, a detective saw the vehicle on a nearby road.
Detective Michael Sullivan caught up with the vehicle and tried to pull it over, but the driver instead took off, according to the release.
Officers followed, losing sight of the vehicle briefly until a City of East Providence water department employee who had been parked on the side of the road pointed them in the right direction, police said.
Officers caught up with the vehicle and began chasing the driver through the streets of East Providence, police said.
As the vehicle drove down the road, a long gun magazine was “either discarded or fell from the vehicle” onto the road, according to the release.
Then the driver blew through a red light, hitting three other vehicles in the process, police said.
Officers said “numerous loaded long gun magazines were ejected from the vehicle and found scattered throughout the crash area.”
Officers also found hundreds of rounds of ammunition scattered throughout the intersection, according to the release.
The fleeing driver’s vehicle was inoperable after the crash, police said, and the driver ran away before he was captured by police.
The driver was identified as a 43-year-old man from Kissimmee, Florida, police said.
Inside his vehicle, police said they found an ammunition stockpile.
“Located inside the suspect vehicle were thousands of rounds of ammunition in three (duffel) bags and a significant number of loose rounds throughout the interior of the vehicle,” police said.
As his vehicle was being searched, police tried to clear the road of ammunition rounds, “painstakingly searching the area for all the ammunition and other potential evidence that was ejected from the vehicle,” officers said.
Later, police said someone reported a suspicious backpack along the chase route, and officers found three loaded Glock handguns, a pellet-style rifle and a bulletproof vest believed to belong to the driver.
“This was an extremely volatile situation involving a dangerous and unpredictable suspect who put so many of our residents and police officers in harm’s way,” Police Chief Christopher Francesconi said in the release. “This investigation remains very active as we try to understand the motive and intentions of the suspect.”
People in two of the vehicles hit in the crashes were injured, police said, and two officers crashed into a house during the pursuit, leaving one injured.
The man was taken into custody and charged with 106 counts of possessing a large capacity feeding device, two counts of failure to have a license or permit for carrying a pistol, discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle, firing in a compact area, eluding an officer with a motor vehicle in a high-speed pursuit, failure to stop for an accident resulting in injury, failure to stop for an accident with an occupied vehicle, vandalism and obstructing an officer in execution of duty, police said.
East Providence is about 50 miles southwest of Boston.