Armed with an AR-15-type weapon, a man barricaded himself inside his home on Stephanie Drive and Meadow View Boulevard on Wednesday. There’s also a woman inside the house. The woman stayed with the man of her own choice.
Mayor Charles Lombardi identified a mentally ill man named Gino Rotundo as the assailant. The Cranston Police Department summoned Rotundo’s cousin, a lieutenant, to mediate.
According to the police chief, the man will only accept calls from his cousin. The man shares a warm relationship with his cousin. At around 7:15 p.m., a police officer with a rifle approached the scene and cut off communication. Ruggiero later claimed that contact was re-established around 9 p.m.
They were both starving, according to the man inside, and planned to leave peacefully once they got some food. A local restaurant delivered three hot dogs and a pizza to them. “Much better state of mind than he has been throughout the entire incident,” Ruggiero said of the man.
The ‘Police Chief Alfredo Ruggiero’ Version Of The Scenario
He said he expects the man to be charged with shooting in a confined space, but he wouldn’t go into any more detail. When Ruggiero first spoke to us, he said the man had posted a video to Facebook Live saying he believed the police were out to get him.
According to the chief, “That’s not what’s going on.” It’s our hope that he’ll give up peacefully.” Ruggiero stated that the woman in the house had stayed there on her own.
Rotundo’s food-delivery worker Diana Gorkin says she saw police officers with guns drawn ordering her to go back inside after they arrived. He was “really nice to me,” Gorkin recalled, when she delivered food to Rotundo’s house.
They kept journalists at a distance from Meadow View Boulevard as law enforcement officers while dealing with the situation. Also, they urged residents to stay at home.
9:30 update from police — communication has been reestablished with the suspect after an hour of silence. He has requested food (three hot wieners and a pizza) and says he will come out after he eats. @wpri12 pic.twitter.com/PJHbHsLKM6
— Amanda Pitts (@AmandaPittsTV) July 14, 2022
Steven Kruppa’s Voice On The Incident
On the other side of the street, Steven Kruppa, an 11-year resident of this neighbourhood, received an alert on his phone about the lockdown. At around 3 p.m., his son Joshua noticed a sudden increase in the number of police officers on the street.
When asked about Rotundo, Kruppa said he had never met the man. But Kruppa said that he had once seen him while walking his dog and described him as “a little off”.
“Very peaceful, silent,” described Kruppa as the neighborhood’s typical vibe.