1 dead after shooting at Rhode Island elderly housing complex
One person was killed and three more were wounded at an elderly living facility in Westerly, Rhode Island, on Thursday, authorities have confirmed. The suspect also died at the scene of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The shooting took place at Babcock Village, a subsidized elderly apartment complex in Westerly, a seaside town near the Connecticut border. Rhode Island State Police, Westerly Police and Connecticut police responded to the scene.
A 66-year-old male resident shot three women, ages 38, 47, and 66. Two of the victims of are employees at the facility, and one is a fellow resident, Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said at a press conference on Thursday. The deceased victim, 47, was an employee at the facility.
The resident victim was taken into surgery, and the facility employee victim was in “extreme critical condition” at the time of the press conference, Lacey said.
According to law enforcement, the shooting was first called in at 10:32 a.m. local time, and police were notified of a second victim shortly thereafter. Lacey said officers locked down the building and reviewed surveillance to identify a suspect. A police “robot” with video capabilities then entered a room the suspect was believed to be in. After seeing that the suspect appeared to be deceased, a tactical team then entered the room.
The suspect was known to police prior to the incident. “We are familiar with the suspect, we’ve dealt with him in the past,” Lacey said. One firearm, a handgun, was recovered from the scene.
Law enforcement did not provide a possible motive for the incident, and names of the victims have not been released pending family notification.
“It’s a tragic day for Westerly and of course the victims,” Attorney General Peter Neronha said at the press conference.
Westerly Public Schools were on lockdown after the shooting. The lockdown was lifted before 1 p.m. local time, the school district announced on Facebook.
Congressman David Cicilline, who represents Rhode Island’s first congressional district, where Westerly is located, said on Twitter he is monitoring the situation.
An employee at In Motion Marine, a nearby business, told CBS affiliate WPRI she was sheltering in place inside the company’s locked garage. “We’re really just waiting for word that he’s been caught so we can leave because we’re kind of trapped in here,” she said. “It’s really scary.”