WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) — The future of the Italo-American Club’s liquor license is now in the hands of the state’s Department of Business Regulation (DBR).
The Warren social club has been under a microscope ever since its president shot and killed the town’s longtime assistant fire chief there last September.
Brian Remy was sitting at the bar inside the Kelly Street establishment when Warren Town Solicitor Anthony DeSisto claims Michael Oullette shot him “execution style.”
Oullette also shot and injured another patron who was sitting at the bar, though police said he managed to escape by crawling into the social club’s kitchen.
Investigators said Oullette was served at least seven beers in the morning and afternoon hours leading up to the shooting, and a toxicology report revealed his blood alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit.
Oullette later took his own life in the alley outside of his Water Street apartment following a shootout with Bristol officers, according to police.
The Warren Town Council revoked the club’s liquor license immediately after the shooting, but a temporary stay issued by the DBR made it possible for the club to continue serving alcohol on a limited basis.
The DBR has been mulling whether to permanently revoke the social club’s license, which DeSisto believes is the best course of action.
“If you have a significant event such as this … a revocation for one incident only is wholly justified.”
But Kevin Bristow, the social club’s attorney, argues that it was an isolated incident.
“He made a decision that he was going to kill and he made a decision that he was going to die that day,” Bristow said. “There is nothing in that club that happened that anyone is aware of that would have caused anyone to reasonably or otherwise perceive that.”
It’s unclear exactly when the DBR will make a decision regarding whether the social club can keep its liquor license. Until then, the establishment can continue to serve alcohol under the restrictions put into place by the DBR last year.