Police pursuing suspect in PVDfest shooting
By: Brittany Comak
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - Providence police say they know who shot a gun into the air at PVDfest this weekend.
"We just heard like two gunshots and everybody started running," said witness Adebola Oguntade.
According to police, the suspect fired five shots late Saturday night.
"Anytime someone shoots in the air big crowds, or shoots in the air at any time it is concerning," said Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare. "It scared a whole lot of people unnecessarily."
Mayor Elorza reacted to the incident Wednesday.
"I'm just so saddened that such a great celebration in our community is shadowed over by what happened," he said.
Elorza and Pare say they're reviewing what happened and what can be improved for future events, but aren't sure much more could have been done to prevent it.
"I don't think we could have done anything different," Pare said. "We have tens of thousands of people in a footprint downtown, and one individual takes a gun and shoots, it's virtually impossible to stop that."
The focus will now shift to the next major event: PrideFest this weekend.
Commissioner Pare said there will be an increased police presence with uniformed and undercover officers.
"Come, you'll be safe, it'll be festive, and we'll do everything we can to make sure everyone's safe and celebrating," said Pare.
Police say they don't believe the suspect intended to hurt or kill anyone.
There is a warrant out for his arrest.
"In this day and time, you can never, ever assure anyone 100 percent that nothing will happen," said Elorza. "But I don't think that the response that any of us should take is to crawl up into a corner and never come out."