Providence police release radio transmissions from I-95 shooting

(Courtesy Steve McLaughlin)

Providence police on Tuesday released radio transmissions from a confrontation with a suspect on Interstate 95 that ended when officers shot and killed him.

In the recordings, officers yell "Shots fired!" at least seven times.

Investigators said Joseph Santos led police on a chase on Route 10 on Thursday until he became stuck in traffic on a ramp to Interstate 95 in downtown Providence.

The audio describes a frantic pursuit that becomes dangerous: "He's trying to run them over. He's crushing ... he's hitting cars over with the truck."

The chase began while police were searching for a different man wanted in the theft of a state police cruiser.

Providence police said their officers fired 20 rounds at Santos' truck when he tried to ram other cars. The Rhode Island state police said four troopers fired a total of 23 shots.

Santos was killed. A passenger in his car was wounded.

The state police superintendent released the troopers' names Thursday. They are Detective Lt. Cynthia Trahan, Cpl. Scott R. Carlsten, Detective Cpl. Herbert D. Tilson and Trooper Garrett S. Hassett. The four troopers are on administrative leave.

Col. Ann Assumpico said the investigation is continuing into both the stolen cruiser and the fatal shooting. She said internal policies and protocols are being reviewed.

The state police said Assumpico has also ordered the installation of partitions in all state police cruisers as soon as possible.

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