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July 30, 2007
Pawtucket police discuss fatal shootings / Photo
Journal photo / Mary Murphy
Det. Sgt. Roberto DaSilva of the Pawtucket Police Dept., lead investigator into the shooting last Friday by the police on Coyle Avenue, describes what happened.
After two killings in one week, the Pawtucket police chief today offered his condolences to the families of two people who were shot and killed by officers.
An Attleboro woman was shot on Thursday when she allegedly tried to run down a Pawtucket officer with a stolen car. A little over 24 hours later, a 34-year-old Pawtucket man was shot when he allegedly pointed a loaded semi-automatic at officers called to investigate a break-in at a tenement on Coyle Avenue.
“What I think everybody has to realize is that the person they know is not the person the police encountered,” Police Chief George L. Kelley III said.
On Friday, the police were responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun trying to break into a house on Coyle Avenue. As the officers ran to cover both entrances, Officer Donna Joyal ran around the house and slammed right into an armed Jason Audette in the driveway, the chief said.
Chief Kelley said officer Joyal shoved Audette away. Audette, the chief said, then pulled a loaded .32 caliber semi-automatic gun on the police officers.
Officers David Holden, 26, Mark Ramos, 31, and Christopher LeFort, 37, all fired about a dozen shots at Audette, killing him.
The incident happened within seconds. The chief couldn’t say whether Audette had fired any shots.
-- Journal staff writer Amanda Milkovits
Audette’s family listened to these details from a back bench in the Municipal Court as the police held a press conference. Some gasped as the chief said the officers fired between 10 to 12 shots. Two women bolted from the room.
These three officers are on administrative duty, as is Officer Derrick Smith, who shot and killed Bridget DeGrafft, 49, when the Attleboro woman allegedly pinned him with a stolen car in a separate incident early Thursday. Smith is on crutches from the incident, Kelley said.
Both officer-involved shootings are being investigated separately by a multi-agency task force under the attorney general’s office. The chief said the Pawtucket Police Department will conduct its own investigation as well.
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