FALL RIVER, Mass. (WHDH) – Police in Fall River are investigating what they describe as an officer-involved shooting late Sunday night.
According to authorities, officers responded to the intersection of Riggenbach and Airport Road following a report that a car was smoking. Witnesses also said they heard what sounded like gunshots. Responding officers found a number of vehicles leaving the area. An officer allegedly attempted to stop one of the vehicles from leaving the scene.
During the encounter, police said an officer fired shots into the vehicle, striking the driver. That driver, later identified as 19-year-old Larry Ruiz-Barreto of New Bedford, was taken to Charlton Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
A relative told 7News that Barreto was one of a number of people who were drag racing when police arrived. That relative said Barreto did not have a gun and had his hands up, with his car slowly rolling forward, when he was shot and killed.
The incident is still under investigation by state police as well as the Bristol County District Attorney’s office.
In a related incident at Charlton Memorial Hospital, five people were arrested due to a disturbance. Those five, who were friends and family of Barreto, pleaded not guilty in court Monday afternoon.
Among those being arraigned was a man who said Barreto was his son and said the police “assassinated my son.”
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