PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A man who fired an AR-15-style ghost gun at a Providence police officer who was responding to a domestic violence call was sentenced to three decades in prison, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday.
Luis Roman, 32, pleaded guilty earlier this year to eight charges connected to the incident, including assault with intent to murder.
The judge sentenced Roman to 70 years with 30 to serve at the ACI and a 40-year, non-parolable suspended sentence. Ten years of the ACI term are also non-parolable.
Prosecutors said Roman pushed, hit and choked the female victim during an argument at their Canton Street apartment on Aug. 11, 2021. Police responded there around 4 a.m. after Roman accidentally called 911 while trying to prevent the victim from doing so.
Roman then walked outside, waited for police to show up, and fired at least 13 rounds at the cruiser, hitting it twice and just missing the officer inside, according to police. The officer put the vehicle in reverse and called for backup.
“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,” Commander Thomas Verdi said back when Roman first appeared in court. “That’s how fortunate and how lucky we are today that we didn’t have a police officer killed in the line of duty.”
“That’s what we worry about,” Attorney General Peter Neronha said following the sentencing. “Someone heavily armed to the extent that police aren’t equipped in the first instance to go in and remedy a situation, where in this case a woman is facing violence. That to me that is why these guns need to be taken off the street.”
After the shooting, Roman fled to a home on Sears Avenue, where he surrendered and was arrested after a standoff. Police said they seized the rifle he used in the attack, along with a stolen handgun and more ammunition from his apartment.
While Roman’s rifle and countless others have been taken off city streets, Neronha warned the ghost gun problem is far from over.
In addition to assault with intent to murder, Roman also pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm during an assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a ghost gun, domestic strangulation, domestic assault with a dangerous weapon, and use of a firearm during domestic assault with a dangerous weapon.