4 charged in shooting death of 17-year-old Rhode Island girl

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — The four people charged with killing a 17-year-old Rhode Island girl as she sat in the driver’s seat of an SUV were gunning for a 14-year-old boy in the vehicle with her, police said Friday.

Two adults and two juveniles were arrested in the death Wednesday night of Nyasia Williams-Thomas in Woonsocket.

One of them, Jose Ortiz Martinez, 18, of Woonsocket, was held without bail at an initial court appearance Friday on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He did not enter a plea and was referred to the public defender’s office. Two 17-year-old youths faces the same charges, but their names were not made public.

Police did not release information about the fourth suspect, an adult who faces the same charges.

Chief Thomas Oates says more people may be charged.

Williams-Thomas was shot outside of a Woonsocket apartment complex by someone who approached from outside the vehicle, police said. Multiple shots were fired, Oates said.

She tried to drive away but struck several parked vehicles before coming to a stop. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A 21-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy also in the vehicle were not hurt.

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