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Bristol DA: Fall River officer fatally shoots 19-year-old man

Fall River police secure a scene on Airport Road, early Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (WJAR)

The Bristol County District Attorney's Office said Monday that a Fall River police officer shot and killed a 19-year-old man who tried to drive away from a possible crime scene.

The district attorney's office said in a news release that Fall River police responded to a report of gunshots at Riggenbach and Airport roads at about 11:37 p.m. Sunday.

Authorities said a number of cars were leaving the area as officers arrived and that the first responding officer attempted to stop one of the vehicles from leaving.

The district attorney's office said the police officer fired shots into the vehicle, striking Larry Ruiz-Barreto, of New Bedford. He was pronounced dead at Charlton Memorial Hospital.

Fall River police said five people were arrested after the shooting in a related altercation at the hospital. A group in the waiting room began throwing chairs and tables, and were also kicking trash barrels and other objects.

Prosecutors said Ruiz-Barreto’s family was screaming at officers and threatening to shoot them.

“Several of the men in the group stated in Spanish, ‘I want to kill these (expletives),’ as well as, ‘I want to shoot them. I'll shoot them all.’”

The group included Ruiz-Barreto’s father and another relative, Demix Ruiz Hernandez. Prosecutors said his actions set everyone off.

“The defendant’s behavior in this incident essentially started this and it spiraled out of control,” a prosecutor said.

The incident occurred after the family got word an officer shot and killed their loved one. Outside court on Monday, they said there was no reason for police to fire into the car, calling authorities “assassins.”

"They cover themselves to please the people,” they said.

The judge released four of the five people who were arrested, as one was held without bail. They're facing several charges, including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

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