R.I. man accused of fatally shooting his mother, neighbor, and injuring 15-year-old
05/26/2023 12:59 pm PDT
JOHNSTON, R.I. (TCD) -- Police killed a triple shooting suspect this week who allegedly fatally wounded his mother and a neighbor.
According to a news release from the Johnston Police Department, on Tuesday, May 23, shortly before midnight, officers responded to 2 Ligian Court to a report of suspicious activity. There, officers spoke with Thomas May, 44, who heard "banging noises" coming from outside of his daughter’s bedroom window.
May reportedly opened the window blinds and saw his neighbor, James Harrison, outside the home with a ladder, and Harrison allegedly ran back toward his own home next door.
At the scene, officers did not see any signs of attempted forced entry or a ladder. However, May reportedly requested to file a trespass order against Harrison. Officers attempted to contact Harrison at 4 Ligian Court without success.
The next day, Wednesday, May 24, at around 7:30 a.m., police said Officer Scott Hopkins responded to 4 Ligian Court to try to contact Harrison again. Harrison was in a vehicle and he reportedly made a gesture "consistent with shooting a firearm" as Hopkins approached him on Simmonsville Avenue.
As Hopkins drove into 2 Ligian Court to turn around and follow Harrison, police said he found May’s 15-year-old daughter on the front lawn of the home with apparent gunshot wounds.
Around the same time Hopkins arrived, police received two separate reports of shots fired in the area.
According to police, additional officers responded to the home and discovered May dead in the garage with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Officers then entered Harrison’s home at 4 Ligian Court and found his mother, Janet Harrison, 83, deceased with a gunshot wound to the head as well.
The juvenile reportedly told police Harrison was the shooter, and she was transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Police subsequently issued a be on the lookout notice (BOLO) to local law enforcement agencies for Harrison.
At approximately 9:30 a.m., Cranston Police initiated a car pursuit after locating Harrison at the St. Ann Cemetery. The pursuit ended in a crash on Plainfield Pike in Cranston near the Route 295 overpass.
Harrison allegedly exited his vehicle armed with a handgun and was killed by police.
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