PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A man shot and killed by police in Pawtucket Friday morning was armed and allegedly assaulted one of the officers involved, Pawtucket Police Chief Tina Goncalves said Friday afternoon.
DaShawn Cole, 28, was shot just before 6:30 a.m. at the intersection of Newport Avenue and Benefit Street, according to police. He was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Goncalves said police had received a call regarding a man with a firearm near or on Cottage Street. Upon responding to the area, an officer spotted Cole, who matched the given description, and approached him.
A confrontation ensued, according to Goncalves, and “the result of the confrontation was a felony assault upon the officer with the firearm.” She refused to answer questions from reporters about whether Cole ever fired his gun.
The mayor’s office said a felony assault with a firearm can include pointing a gun at another person, hitting them with a gun or firing the gun.
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A firearm was recovered at the scene, Goncalves said.
An eyewitness said he heard several gunshots followed by a wave of emergency vehicles descending upon the area. At least seven evidence markers could be seen in the street.
“It’s scary. It’s very scary,” Mark Pettis of Pawtucket said Friday. “All of a sudden I heard one shot and I heard five or six shots after that.”
Cole’s adoptive mother, Linda Allen, told Eyewitness News he was a “good kid,” worked as a landscaper and loved to fish. His family lives in Dorchester, Mass., but he had moved to Pawtucket.
The incident is believed to be isolated, according to police, and the area is now secure. A portion of Newport Avenue was closed for several hours but has since reopened.
Goncalves said the three officers who were involved have been placed on administrative leave, per department policy. She would not say how many officers fired their weapons, nor would she name the officers.
The shooting remains under investigation by Pawtucket and Rhode Island State Police, as well as the attorney general’s office.