PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence police responded to the two-family home where a suspect on Thursday engaged in an early-morning gun battle 16 times since 2015, including as recently as last week, according to records reviewed by Target 12.

Providence police “calls for service” show police responded to 25 Denison St. on Feb. 3 for a call of “keep the peace,” according to the records. Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré said 61-year-old Scott MacLean was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Seven days later, police responded again, but this time for a domestic violence call. Paré said officers arrived at 2:30 a.m. to respond to a call that MacLean was assaulting his son and daughter. MacLean barricaded himself inside the home, and police quickly set up a perimeter after MacLean’s daughter said he had access to several weapons including multiple semi-automatic rifles.

Shortly after 6 a.m., MacLean opened fire. Paré said hundreds of gunshots were exchanged by both sides, and a fire also erupted on the second floor where MacLean was located. Providence police deployed a small robot designed to be thrown into buildings and equipped with a camera to keep watch on the suspect.

MacLean was later found dead; it is not yet clear how he died.

Paré, who is also the acting fire chief, said arson investigators will determine how the fire started. The tear gas officers threw into the home is flammable, he said, but it’s not yet clear if that’s how the flames ignited.

Voting records show MacLean has lived at the Denison Street property since at least 2015. He voted there in 2016, 2018 and 2020, according to the Providence Board of Canvassers.

Prior to 2015, MacLean lived on Follett Street in East Providence, records show.

Since 2015, police have visited 25 Denison St. a total of 16 times, according to the records: four times for a “wellbeing check,” twice for “missing person,” as well as a call for “refusing to leave,” and “request assistance.”

The records do not indicate which of the two units in the building each call was for.

Police said MacLean’s family members reported he had been treated for mental health issues, but it is not yet known if that would have prevented him from possessing firearms.

Paré said multiple weapons were seized from the home. It was not immediately clear whether MacLean possessed any gun permits; both the Department of Environmental Management and R.I. Attorney General’s Office declined to say if MacLean had either a blue card or a concealed carry permit. Both agencies noted they are prevented by law from disclosing that information.

Denison Street is located in the Charles neighborhood in the northern part of the city.

Michelle Bucci was arriving at work at her Branch Avenue bakery, just around the corner from the scene, when she heard shots rang out early Thursday morning.

“I live two streets over and there is gunshots all the time, but nothing like the repeating rifle, so it was pretty crazy,” Bucci said, who captured the dramatic events on her cell phone. “It was like being in the middle of a war.”

Members of the Providence Police Special Response Unit were involved in the shootout. Paré said eight officers fired their weapons.

Paré said the officers will not be placed on administrative duty, as is common in officer-involved shootings, but they do have the option to take leave if they want.

“They were fighting for their lives,” he said.

Tim White (twhite@wpri.com) is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Steph Machado (smachado@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence, politics and more for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook

Eli Sherman contributed to this report