Suspected gang members arrested in botched drive-by shooting - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Suspected gang members arrested in botched drive-by shooting

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By: Alexandra Cowley

Cranston Police make arrests in an attempted drive by shooting, which they say was gang retaliation fueled partly by online music videos. As we first reported earlier this month, gangs are using social media to taunt their rivals, but it's also becoming a tool for police.

Cranston Police say a home on Roland Avenue was targeted by suspected gang members on Mother's day. A brick was thrown through the window to pull the target out. The wrong person woke up and when he came outside, police say the suspects pointed a gun and attempted firing, but the gun malfunctioned.

"Who knows if they were successful in that where those rounds could go. Those rounds could have gone through somebody else's house. It's a tremendous danger and obviously getting these two individuals off the streets is a positive thing," said acting Cranston Police Chief Kevin Barry.

Barry says the victim was able to give a good description of the suspects and the car they were in which lead to the arrests. He says the use of social media is just another avenue for members to taunt their rivals.

"It's something they can do when their not out on the street, from a safe area, and they can still get their message out," Barry said. 

The victim's girlfriend witnessed the attempted shooting and says the videos contribute to the violence. She asked we not identify her.

"The more violence you condone in your video the cooler you are. The bigger you're hurt, the bigger reputation you get," she explained.

Barry says while the videos help fuel the violence, they're also a tool to solving it.

"Anytime that you can as a law enforcement officer have a hand or an intelligence piece that gives you a better understanding of how they operate and what they're operating with, that's beneficial towards us," he said. 

Cranston Police and other local departments use these videos to stay on top of impending retaliation and to prevent violence.

"It's their credibility piece and unfortunately when that happens your putting a lot of people in harms way, and that's a safety piece, not only for the public but for law enforcement and we will be out there combatting that, " said Barry. 

The suspects, 19-year-old Devon McMahon and 18-year-old Jorge Velazquez, both of Providence, are being held without bail. They were arraigned on charges of assault with intent to commit a felony, conspiracy, and vandalism of property.  

Cranston police ask the public to be aware of any suspicious behavior in their community and to contact them in any case.

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