PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence man who was on the run for hours Wednesday morning after police say he fired a rifle at an officer has been captured.
According to police, the officer had responded around 4:15 a.m. to a domestic violence call on Canton Street when Luis Roman opened fire.
The cruiser was struck multiple times as the officer put it in reverse and retreated, police said, but the officer was not hurt.
“We’re very fortunate the Providence police officer’s alive,” Commander Thomas Verdi said. “That was a high-powered rifle.”
“Six inches higher, three inches to the left, it goes right through the driver’s windshield and he takes it probably right in the chest,” Verdi added. “That’s how fortunate and how lucky we are today that we didn’t have a police officer killed in the line of duty.”
“The Providence police face danger routinely with guns and violence. Last night is a vivid example,” Col. Hugh Clements said. “We are very fortunate a Providence police officer is not critically injured, if not fatally injured.”
Roman, 31, then went back inside a multi-family home where he lives on the second floor, according to police.
Believing him to be barricaded inside, the officer called for backup and police swarmed the area, but they later learned he had already slipped out a back door. A shelter-in-place order was issued for area residents.
“Here is a young man in our community that levels a rifle looking to kill a police officer,” Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré said prior to Roman’s arrest. “We have a lot more work to do. Our first and primary goal is to get him off the street, so if he’s listening, turn yourself in. Otherwise, we’re coming for you.”
Paré said police removed a 3-year-old boy from the first floor of the home and the residents of the third floor were also able to get out safely.
He also said officers seized a weapon from the home. Verdi noted that Roman has prior firearms convictions.
Roman eventually surrendered to members of the Special Response Unit on Sears Avenue, according to police.
Providence Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan, who lives on Canton Street, said it was a terrifying time for nearby residents, adding that it highlights the urgency to address violence in the city.
“To think that our neighbors were pulled into this dangerous scenario on what was supposed to be a typical Wednesday morning in a quiet neighborhood is deeply concerning,” Ryan said.
“I am beyond grateful that nobody was injured, including the officer who was shot at earlier this morning while in the line of duty,” she added.
Roman is expected to be arraigned in court Thursday, according to his lawyer.
The incident comes following weeks of violence in the city and just hours after an emergency meeting regarding the uptick in violence.
Josh Faiola contributed to this report.