PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are working to track down suspects after a Providence man was fatally shot inside a city business Tuesday night.
According to Providence police, Freddy Tola, 36, was getting his car repaired at an auto-body shop on Valley Street when he was ambushed around 9:30 p.m. Investigators believe he was targeted and said the gunman was likely waiting for him prior to the shooting.
“The suspect entered the garage by an open garage door and seemed to specifically target Mr. Tola and he shot him at close range,” Detective Capt. Timothy O’Hara said Wednesday.
Tola was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital, where he later died. Police would not say how many times he was shot but witnesses recalled hearing several gunshots.
“It was just a ‘pop pop pop.’ It almost sounded like firecrackers for Fourth of July,” Blaine Green said.
Tola’s family said he leaves behind a 14-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son.
“I don’t know what my life is going to be like from here on out,” Tola’s mother, Letty Lince, said through a family member translating from Spanish.
“He was very loving with me. He was always hugging me, always kissing me,” she added.
Lince said she found out about the shooting from one of her son’s friends, who showed up at her house Tuesday night to take her to the hospital. That friend said Tola was shot in the back.
Lince said her son had a troubled past but was working to straighten his life out.
“When he was young he gave her problems, but he matured now as an adult,” she said. “He changed a lot. He stayed home a lot more.”
Police said they’re reviewing surveillance video from the scene and ask anyone with information to call them at (401) 272-3121.