Police search for suspect in Providence shooting

Ernesto Vargas

By News Staff

Reporting by Mike LaCrosse


An arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect wanted in an early morning shooting in Providence.

44-year-old "Tito" Ernesto Vargas is wanted for his involvement in the shooting at 41 Health Avenue.

"The suspect [Vargas] fired multiple rounds, striking our victim several times," said Deputy Chief Thomas Oates.

Police set up a crime scene at the residence, leaving upwards of 14 evidence cards marking locations of shell casings and other evidence. They say an initial argument turned into a shooting.

"We believe they know each other, but what that relationship is, at this point, I’m not sure," said Deputy Oates.

The victim, a man in his late twenties, lives in the second floor of the multiple family home. He is listed in serious condition at Rhode Island Hospital.

Vargas is charged with felony assault with a firearm, possession of a firearm after being convicted of a violent crime, possession of a firearm while committing a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm without a license.

Police say Vargas may be driving a Gold Kia SUV registered to his girlfriend Yamaris Geigel, with the Rhode Island registration 982-572. The registration lists the couple’s residence as 44 Health Avenue, but they no longer live there.

"Anytime it happens, it’s terrible," said Mayor Jorge Elorza, who arrived on scene to talk with investigators and neighbors.

"We’re going to get to the bottom of what happened," said the Mayor. The shooting came just hours after the he hosted the first advisory council to reduce gun violence.

"Now there are too many guns on the streets . We’re going to do everything we can as a city to make sure we work with the community, work with legal gun owners, and also work with our partners through the region to make sure we eliminate these illegal guns from our streets," Elorza stated.

Residents on the street say this is not the first time there has been a shooting in the area.

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