PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The nine people injured in a shooting in Rhode Island in which some 50 shots were fired are expected to recover, Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements said Friday.
But he said criminal charges are still being finalized, so the names of those involved will be released later. He said the charges are expected to range from felony assault to possessing an illegal firearm.
Clements stressed the Thursday night shooting wasn't random but part of an ongoing feud between two rival groups known to authorities. Police will be stepping up patrols in city neighborhoods where the groups are active to discourage further violence, he said.
“These are not gangs in the sense of Crips and Bloods,” Clements said. “These are just groups of young men in the community who easily have access to firearms and exact their revenge on each other.”
He added that officers are on guard outside the hospital rooms of those involved and have also seized eight firearms at the house and located a pickup truck involved in the shooting.
Clements said three were in critical condition at the hospital and four were stable. Eight suffered gunshot wounds and the ninth was by hurt by shards of glass, he said.
The shooting began around 7 p.m. when a pickup truck carrying four people pulled up to a house in the city's Washington Park neighborhood, according to Clements.
The group exited the truck and began firing at five or six people on the porch, some of whom quickly returned fire, he said. After several minutes of shooting, the group got back into the truck fled toward the hospital.
The victims are between the ages of 19 and 25, and eight of them are men.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza on Friday praised the police department’s efforts to get illegal guns off the city’s streets, saying some of the firearms being seized are “weapons of war.”
“Some of the guns they're getting off the street are terrifying,” he said. “They have no business being in the hands of civilians.”