Providence mayor says crime fueled by ongoing feud between city gangs

Providence

PROVIDENCE, RI. (WPRI) — “Terrible” is how Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza on Friday described the previous 24 hours in the capital city.

On Thursday, a 19-year-old man was stabbed to death inside the Providence Place mall, another man walked into Rhode Island Hospital with a gunshot wound to the head, and police responded to reports of gunshots in the mayor’s own neighborhood.

“It’s nerve-wracking,” Elorza said. “It literally hits close to home.”

Much of the violence appears to be fueled by an ongoing battle among city gangs, according to Elorza. Police said they’re investigating all three incidents and whether any are gang-related.

Despite the apparent uptick in violence, Elorza insisted that crime in Providence is down compared to 10 years ago.

“There were over 100 shootings a year in the city of Providence,” he said, referring to a decade ago. “Last year, we had 35 shootings.”

But even that is too many, he said, so that’s why Providence is teaming up with Central Falls on an aggressive gun buyback program.

On October 17, anyone can drop off unwanted firearms at designated locations.

The initiative comes after 85 guns reportedly vanished from a Providence home, the owner of which was later charged with illegally selling them.

“Every gun that we take off the street is going to make us all safer. It’s going to make sure that more of our kids can stay alive,” Elorza added.

Elorza also made a plea to the community, saying it’s going to take everyone to stop the violence, and asked anyone with information on the recent violence to speak up and contact Providence police.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Providence

Download Mobile Apps from WPRI 12
DOWNLOAD APPS NOW: Apple App Store | Google Play Store

12 on 12 - Cold Case Cards: All In

More Cold Case Cards All In
PINPOINT WEATHER // Quick Links:

Veteran's Voices: Honoring Those Who Serve

More Veterans Voices

Dan Yorke State of Mind: Dan's Daily Update

DYSOM 10/21/2020:Lt. Governor Dan McKee and Mike Strout

More Dan Yorke State of Mind

Don't Miss

Viewer Pa on WPRI.com

LIVE CAMS on WPRI.com

More Live Cams

Community Events & Happenings

More Community

The Border Report Tour

More Border Report Tour