Cayla Johnson was working lunch at the Crow's Nest restaurant in Warwick on Monday when a co-worker told everyone there was a gunman outside.
"So everyone ran around locking all the doors. It was kind of frantic and everyone was terrified at first. I came out and we heard a couple gun shots and the whole restaurant, everyone was near the windows looking 'cause there was all of a sudden cops and no one really saw it starting. A couple people did but when I looked I saw cops running with guns. We just heard the gunshots. The next thing I knew, they were dragging the guy down," she said.
Warwick police said it started when an officer spotted a suspicious vehicle near Oakland Beach at about 12:30 p.m. The officer ran the license plate and it came back to a man wanted on a parole violation stemming from a murder charge in California.
The man was identified as 39-year-old Kenneth Cunningham.
The officer tried to stop him, but he took off.
Later, on West Shore Road, several officers thought they had Cunningham cornered at gunpoint.
"The subject pointed a gun back at the officers. He then, gunned the car, rammed the police car," said Chief Stephen McCartney of the Warwick Police Department.
Police said Cunningham later got out of his car and ran up onto the train tracks when officers confronted him again on Arnold's Neck Road.
According to police, Cunningham and three officers exchanged gunfire. Cunningham was struck several times. None of the officers were injured.
Cunningham was taken to Rhode Island Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.
Police said Cunningham was also wanted on stolen car charges in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island State Police is also investigating.