Two men shot and killed in separate overnight shootings in Providence
"The worst thing our capital City can have is this perception that it's unsafe to come here."
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Two men were shot and killed overnight in Providence, according to police.
The two fatal shootings mark the capital City’s 17th and 18th homicides of the year.
Providence police told ABC6 the first shooting happened on O’Connell Street near Revel Lounge at 2 a.m. where 25-year-old man was shot and killed.
About twenty minutes later, a second shooting on Branch Avenue took the life of a 23-year-old man.
Police believe the two shootings are not related. No arrests have been made and the investigation is extremely active at this time.
Police have not released the names of the victims.
The shooting outside of Revel Lounge comes just three weeks after a double homicide outside of Fuego Lounge on West Friendship Street.
Now, local club owners tell ABC6 they worry the recent violence intertwined with Providence’s nightlife will hurt the perception of the City.
“The worst thing our capital City can have is this perception that it’s unsafe to come here,” said Anthony Santurri, co-owner of Coliseum nightclub downtown.
Santurri is also part of the Providence Nightlife Organization, which connects local venues with law enforcement to ensure a safe and secure nightlife experience.
He said venues are struggling to beef up their security due to a severe shortage of police officers to act as security detail.
“We are at the lowest levels of law enforcement capacities right now,” he told ABC6. “The lowest levels in fifty years.”
He says the police department doesn’t have the capability to assign officers to certain venues, because they’re needed in other areas. He feels that an increased presence would prevent senseless violence after patrons leave local clubs and lounges.
“We don’t need you there at six at night. But come midnight to 2 a.m. we need to move our limited resources to a place where there will potentially be more people and the potential for more public safety issues.”
This is a developing news story and will be updated with more information when it becomes available.