PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — Police are continuing to search for the person who shot and killed a man inside a Providence laundromat Tuesday night.
The victim, identified by police Wednesday as 38-year-old Melvin Ricardo Perez Reyes, was doing his laundry at the Laundromax on Broad Street when the suspect walked in and put a gun to his back.
Police said the suspect demanded Perez Reyes give him the jewelry he had around his neck, and the gun went off during a struggle between the two after he refused.
Perez Reyes was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
As of Wednesday evening, police said no arrests have been made.
This is the city’s 21st homicide of the year.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza believes “anger combined with a lot of guns” is to blame for the spike in violence.
“There’s just a lot of fire power that’s out there,” Elorza said. “A level that we just haven’t seen before.”
Susie Paquin, who lives in the area, tells 12 News she refuses to work at night because of all the violence.
“There’s always something … especially on this street,” she said Wednesday. “It’s the busiest street and it was a long weekend. Everyone was having fun.”
“There’s always something happening, you just don’t know when,” Paquin continued. “There was a shooting not too long ago over there. There’s a shooting down the street, something happened on Elmwood. Every day something happens.”
Over the past six months, police said there have been 300 violent incidents on Broad Street alone. Police also said four of the 21 homicides reported this year have occurred there.