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JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Police continue to investigate a triple shooting in Johnston that left two people dead and one injured.
The suspect, 52-year-old James Harrison, was later shot and killed by police after a chase and subsequent standoff on Plainfield Pike, near the Johnston-Cranston line.
One of the victims was identified Thursday as the suspect’s mother, 83-year-old Janet Harrison, who lived with him at 4 Ligian Court.
The second victim lived next door and has been identified as 44-year-old Thomas May. His 15-year-old daughter was also shot and brought to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Target 12 confirmed on Wednesday that the shooting stemmed from a neighborhood dispute.
Police said they first responded to Ligian Court just before midnight Tuesday for a report of suspicious activity. May told police he heard loud banging noises outside his daughter’s window and saw Harrison outside with a ladder. Harrison then ran back home.
There were no signs of forced entry, according to police. May sought to file a trespass order against Harrison to keep him off the property, but police said they were unable to make contact with him.
Around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, an officer returned to make another attempt to reach Harrison. The officer saw him driving away and making a hand gesture “consistent with shooting a firearm,” police said.
As the officer went to turn around to follow Harrison, he saw the teen girl on the front lawn suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. While he rendered aid to her, more officers arrived and found May in the garage, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. The girl identified Harrison as the shooter, according to police.
“The juvenile victim in this case has shown incredible courage and resiliency and we pray for her speedy recovery,” police said Thursday.
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Police said they entered Harrison’s home to look for additional victims, which is when they found his mother dead.
A BOLO (be on the lookout) was put out for Harrison. An off-duty police dispatcher spotted his vehicle at St. Ann Cemetery around 9:30 a.m. and called it in.
When officers arrived, police say Harrison drove at them and a pursuit ensued. Harrison swerved at several vehicles on Plainfield Pike, hit a Cranston police cruiser, and at one point was driving on the wrong side of the road before he jumped the center median, lost control and crashed into a large rock, according to police.
Harrison was then surrounded by police and eventually got out and pointed a firearm at the officers, who opened fire.
Rhode Island State Police and the R.I. Attorney General’s Office will be involved in a multijurisdictional investigation into the police shooting.
12 News is working to gather more information and will have a live report at noon on WPRI 12.
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