NOTE: This story was updated after police corrected the victim’s age.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence police are investigating after a man was wounded in a shooting Thursday night in the city’s Smith Hill neighborhood.
According to Major David Lapatin, the man walked out of a restaurant near the intersection of Chalkstone Avenue and Smith Street around 7 p.m. when he was approached by two individuals. After a brief conversation, the suspects opened fire on the victim and he was struck.
The 26-year-old man was taken to Rhode Island Hospital where police say he’s currently in critical condition.
Two males were seen running from the area after the shooting, according to police.
When asked whether area residents should be concerned, Lapatin said it appeared the victim was targeted.
“When a crime like this is committed, of course you want to be mindful of the fact,” he said. “But like I said, I think this was a targeted incident and we are, as you see, all around this neighborhood now and we will be here for hours.”
Police have a portion of the area cordoned off with crime tape and were seen interviewing possible witnesses.
The shooting is the latest in a series of violent incidents in Providence over the past few weeks including several shootings and stabbings, two of which were deadly.
Compare: Violent crimes in Aug. 2020 vs. Aug. 2021
Mayor Jorge Elorza says Providence police have been working with Rhode Island State Police in an effort to address the increase in violent crimes. He believes at least some of the violence has been retaliatory in nature, but police have not indicated that any of the incidents were connected.