PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are investigating after a man was shot late Friday morning in South Providence.
The shooting happened outside the Islamic Center of Rhode Island on Haskins Street, located just off Broad Street. Chief Oscar Perez said a man associated with the mosque was selling goods at a table set up outside when he was shot in the lower half of his body.
His injuries are not considered life-threatening, according to Perez. He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment.
“It’s sad. It’s a beautiful day here in the city,” Perez said. “I’m pretty good friends with the imam here at the mosque, and so we’re here and we’ll be providing security throughout to ensure everyone is safe.”
Perez added that an officer happened to be driving by the area when he heard the gunshots.
Police are now on scene gathering evidence and speaking with witnesses. A motive for the shooting is unclear at this time.
Imam Abdul-Latif Sackor said the shooting was captured on camera. According to him, the shooter was standing across the street for about 20 minutes prior to an 11:30 a.m. prayer service.
He believes it was a targeted attack, not toward the victim specifically, but toward the mosque.
“I think it was more directed towards the Muslims,” Sackor said.
“We’ve been here for years and we haven’t had this type of issue until recently,” he added.
WATCH: Imam Abdul-Latif Sackor comments on the shooting (Story continues below.)
Perez said it’s too early in the investigation to know whether it was a hate crime or not.
Providence Mayor Brett Smiley later released a statement saying he and his office are “deeply saddened by this news.”
“While we don’t know many details at this time, there is no room for hate in Providence and everyone in our community is valued,” Smiley continued. “Providence Police will work tirelessly to bring this individual to justice so that all our resident feel safe.”