PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are investigating after a Woonsocket man was shot and killed in Providence Tuesday night.
The victim was identified Wednesday morning as Jose L. Santos, 36. His family and friends gathered at the scene to pay their respects, still in shock over what happened. They said Santos leaves behind three young children.
According to police, Santos was in the driver’s seat of an SUV near the intersection of Melrose and Mitchell Streets when he was shot at close range around 11 p.m. It’s unclear at this time whether the shooter walked up to the vehicle or drove up close and fired.
Eduardo Loor, the man who alerted police, said he saw Santos unresponsive in the SUV and called 911.
“I feel really sorry whoever they are,” Loor said Wednesday. “It’s sad to lose somebody, especially like that. Must have been really hard.”
Major David Lapatin said police know what Santos was doing in Providence in the hours leading up to the shooting and it wasn’t criminal in nature.
Lapatin also said he doesn’t believe the killing was gang-related, however, Santos may have been targeted. It’s too early in the investigation to know for sure, according to Lapatin.
“A lot of these shootings, for one reason or another, are targeted either by the person or the actions, so we don’t know yet. But random shootings in neighborhoods, we usually don’t see that,” he said. “I believe it could be targeted, not saying specifically targeted toward this victim, could be targeted toward some circumstance.”
Police are now canvassing the neighborhood and looking for eyewitnesses and surveillance video.
A suspect has not been identified and no arrests have been made, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Providence police at (401) 272-3121.