CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Cranston police are investigating the city’s first murder in 18 months, Chief Michael Winquist said Tuesday.
According to Winquist, officers responded to Harris Avenue just after 4 a.m. and arrived to find Jamal Vasquez, 24, of Providence, dead of an apparent gunshot wound and a stolen semiautomatic handgun on the ground next to him.
No arrests have been made so far. The suspects may have left the area in a dark-colored sedan last seen traveling south on Cranston Street, Winquist said.
A motive for the murder is unclear at this time, but it did not appear to be random, according to the chief. He also noted that Vasquez did not live at the home where the shooting took place.
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Detectives are interviewing people who attended a party across the street that was going on at the same time as the shooting, Winquist said, as well as reviewing surveillance video from area homes and businesses. Investigators also seized several cars as evidence.
Winquist said 3D crime scene imaging is being used to give detectives a digital footprint of the crime.
One neighbor, Elder Urizar, told 12 News he didn’t hear any gunshots and this is unusual for the neighborhood where his family lives.
“Kind of scared, you know what I mean?” Urizar added. “I woke up and there were so many police and news around you, and you didn’t even hear anything.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jon Nelson at (401) 477-5150, Detective Salvador Sanchez at (401) 477- 5141, or submit an anonymous tip online.