North Providence officer cleared in non-fatal shooting

By News Staff

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NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – A North Providence Police officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a non-fatal officer involved shooting in December of 2018.

A Grand Jury finding released Tuesday said Officer Mathieu Florio, 23, was legally justified in shooting and wounding Richard Solitro on December 9th.

The incident occurred after North Providence Police responded to Manning Street on the evening of December 9th for reports of a man threatening to harm himself. 

Officers on scene later located 32-year-old Richard Solitro, who pointed a realistic-looking replica firearm at officers.

Officer Florio fired several shots at Solitro after demanding that he drop the weapon. Solitro was injured by the gunfire and transported to Rhode Island Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Florio was placed on administrative leave while the shooting was investigated.

“Officer Florio, was placed in a dangerous, difficult and quickly unfolding situation that December evening”, said North Providence Police Colonel David Tikoian. “I supported the actions of this officer from the onset and respect the findings of the Grand Jury. I would like to thank the Rhode Island State Police and Attorney General’s Office for their thorough review.”
 
The Attorney General’s office released a statement Tuesday that Florio’s actions were legally justified, and a grand jury declined to return an indictment in the matter.
 

Solitro was later charged with Felony Assault by Use of Device Similar in Appearance to a Firearm. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 21st.

 ©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019