FALL RIVER, MASS. (WHDH) - Police arrested five people at a Fall River hospital after they were told their family member did not survive an officer-involved shooting.
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.
Five of Barreto’s friends and family pleaded not guilty in court Monday after being arrested due to a disturbance at the hospital.
Among those being arraigned was a man who said, through an interpreter, that the police “assassinated my son.”
The Bristol County District Attorney’s office is investigating whether the police shooting was justified.
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