Task force and JPD nab alleged Johnston auto shop shooter


Johnston Police and the state's Violent Fugitive Task Force made an arrest in last Wednesday’s shooting at City Limit Auto Sales on Hartford Avenue.

“Our main objective is to protect the safety and well-being of the Johnston community,” according to Johnston Police Chief Mark A. Vieira. “The Johnston Police Department takes incidents of violent crime very seriously.”

Police have arrested and charged Ramon Abreu, 44, of Whittier Avenue, Providence.

Abreu was arrested Friday at 11:15 a.m. by members of the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force, US Marshals Service and members of the Johnston Police Detective Division on a felony arrest warrant for two counts of felony assault with a dangerous weapon, according to police.

“Ensuring the swift apprehension of this violent offender was a top priority,” Vieira explained Monday. “We were committed to leveraging all necessary resources, including task forces, to promptly address and resolve this case. Equally important was pursuing justice for the victims and assuring they were supported throughout the investigative process.”

Police said the shooting incident stemmed from a dispute between Abreu and employees over work on his suspect’s vehicle. After an argument, Abreu allegedly left the business and returned with a gun, according to a press release from Johnston Police.

On Oct. 11, Abreu allegedly fired two shots (one each) at two employees, striking one in the leg. Police said the injury was "non-life-threatening."

Abreu facing the following felony charges: Felony Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (two counts); License or Permit Required for Carrying Pistol; Using a Firearm when Committing Crime of Violence; Possession of a Firearm after being Convicted of a Crime of Violence. He has also been charged with a pair of misdemeanors — Disorderly Conduct and Firing in a Compact Area.

“The Johnston Police Department commends the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force and the United States Marshals Service for their assistance and swift action in taking this dangerous suspect into custody,” Johnston Police said to conclude their press release.

On Monday, Abreu was arraigned in Third District Court. He did not enter a plea but was referred to a Public Defender.

Rhode Island District Court Associate Judge Joseph Terence Houlihan set Abreu’s bond at $200,000 surety and issued a Non-Domestic No Contact Order. A Pre-Arraignment Conference has been set for Jan. 29, 2024.


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