Woonsocket man charged with murder in January shooting

By News Staff

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WLNE) – A Woonsocket man has been charged with murder after the victim in a January shooting died months after the incident.

Woonsocket Police said that 26-year-old Claude Holland was arrested by North Smithfield Police on Saturday and was charged with the murder of Christopher Archambault.

Police said Archambault was shot in the back in the area of Elbow and East School Streets on the evening of January 13, 2019. The shooting left Archambault paralyzed below the waist.

Archambault died on May 16, and Woonsocket Police said an autopsy revealed the cause of death to be complications from the shooting.

Detectives who had investigated the shooting since January identified Holland as a suspect and obtained a warrant for his arrest on Friday. Holland was picked up by North Smithfield Police on Saturday.

They said that Holland was a suspect early on in the investigation, and after Archambault’s death, witnesses began to cooperate with investigators.

Chief Thomas Oates III said that the charge was originally felony assault, but since Archambault died, it became a murder investigation.

“His death was related to that gunshot wound which in fact makes it a homicide,” Oates said.

Chief Oates added that Archambault and Holland had a history together in the drug business, but declined to comment on whether that was a motive for the shooting. 

“This was a situation where the two involved in this knew each other and had some type of dealings with each other,” he said.

Holland has a history with the department. In January, before the shooting, Holland was arrest on weapons charges, and he was also arrested recently for disorderly conduct.

Many people in the neighborhood don’t recall the shooting but said that the incident makes them scared.

“Not really surprised there’s been quite a lot of shootings,” said resident Mathew Goyette. “It’s just very scary at night around here.”

The news of the shooting is especially troubling for Sonia Rivera, whose grandson plays in the neighborhood and the nearby parks.

“The police all the time is over there. All the time with drugs or something,” Rivera said.

Holland faces the following charges:

  • 1st degree murder
  • Discharge of firearm while committing a crime of violence
  • Firing in a compact area

Woonsocket Police released very little details about the kind of gun used or if it was recovered.

Holland is due back in court Jan. 11.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019