Providence police arrest suspect who shot at police officer with assault rifle

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The suspect who led police on a manhunt after firing shots at an officer was arrested Wednesday morning, according to the Providence Police Department.

31-year-old Luis Roman is facing multiple charges after police say he fired shots at a Providence police officer who was responding to a domestic call on Canton Street.

“The officer, a seven-year veteran, was first on the scene and as he approaches the address, a suspect levels a rifle at the officer. (The officer) threw the cruiser into reverse. The cruiser took at least two shots, one nearly striking where the officer was sitting in the patrol car, and he retreats, calling for additional units,” said Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare.

The officer called for backup thinking Roman was barricaded inside the home with weapons. More police arrived and surrounded the home, and the SWAT team gained entry. That’s when they realized Roman had slipped out the back.

“As he approaches, the suspect runs out of the house and fires at the police officer coming very close to striking him. He immediately flees back in the house and by the time the officer radios for assistance the suspect has ample opportunity to flee the scene,” said Col. Hugh Clements, chief of the Providence Police Department.

Roman was arrested shortly before 9 a.m. at his family’s home on Sears Avenue.

“This is a day that we are clearly fortunate that we’re not tending to a dead police officer,” said Pare.

Police said a woman and a three-year-old were safely taken from the home.

Commander Thomas Verdi said the suspect was wielding a high-powered assault rifle, and the officer was lucky to get away unscathed.

“Six inches higher, three inches to the left and it goes right through the driver’s windshield and he takes it probably right in the chest. That’s how fortunate and how lucky we are today that we didn’t have a police officer killed in the line of duty,” said Verdi.

It’s been nine years since the Providence Police Department lost an officer in the line of duty.

“We are very fortunate for the police officer,” said Clements. “I told him, he should respond immediately to Saint Augustine Church and light 20 candles because that’s how close it was. This is erie. This is not good”

Roman, who has been convicted of gun charges in the past, will be arraigned on Thursday. He’s represented by defense attorney and former Rhode Island Attorney General Jeff Pine.

The incident shook up the Elmhurst neighborhood. Residents near Chalkstone Avenue and Canton Street were asked to shelter in place during the standoff.

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan released the following statement about Roman’s arrest:

“Early this morning, my neighbors and I were alerted to a shelter-in-place order due to a domestic abuse situation that led to the assailant firing gunshots at a police officer, and then barricading himself inside a house.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Providence Police Department, who worked diligently to keep residents in my neighborhood safe, and apprehended this armed and dangerous individual without any injuries or loss of life. Officers demonstrated their professionalism and training, and effectively protected the public’s safety. They secured the scene, kept residents safe in their homes, and arrested the suspect without firing a single shot. I commend their great work. I also want to thank our partners in state law enforcement who provided the additional equipment necessary to bring the standoff to a safe resolution.
This was a terrifying situation for my neighbors, as well as for everyone involved in the incident, and it highlights the urgency of our city’s current crime crisis. I am beyond grateful that nobody was injured, including the officer who was shot at while in the line of duty. I will continue collaborating with the Providence Police to put a stop to the current crime wave and to provide them with the resources necessary to protect the public.”

© WLNE-TV 2021

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island