Providence man sentenced to serve 30 years in state prison for shooting AR-15-style ghost gun at Providence police officer and domestic assault
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man has been sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve 30 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading guilty to shooting at a Providence police officer with an AR-15-style ghost gun following a domestic assault against a female victim in 2021.
On January 17, 2023, Luis Roman (age 32) entered a plea of guilty to assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm during an assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a ghost gun, domestic strangulation, domestic assault with a dangerous weapon, and use of a firearm during domestic assault with a dangerous weapon.
At a sentencing hearing on March 27, 2023, Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced the defendant to 70 years, with 30 years to serve at the ACI (10 years of which are non-parolable), and a 40-year, non-parolable suspended sentence.
“It should come as no surprise to Rhode Islanders that the men and women in local law enforcement work hard to ensure public safety, knowing that significant risk to their own wellbeing is never far away,” said Attorney General Neronha. “This is yet another case that vividly illustrates the scope of that risk, made worse with illegal firearms in the hands someone willing to use them regardless of consequence. The defendant’s intent here was clear: to kill or seriously injure a police officer coming to the aid of a victim of domestic abuse. His conduct merits the harshest of penalties and deserves the decades of imprisonment imposed by Court today. I remain enormously grateful to the Providence Police Department for their work in this case and in so many others.”
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that during the early morning hours of August 11, 2021, the defendant assaulted a female victim at their apartment on Canton Street before opening fire with an AR-15-style ghost gun at a Providence Police Officer responding to the scene.
At approximately 4:00 a.m. that morning, the defendant argued with female victim at their apartment. The argument escalated and the defendant assaulted the female victim, pushing, hitting, and choking her. The female victim attempted to call 911, and the defendant grabbed his AR-15-style ghost gun and struck her with the side of the gun several times. During the assault, the defendant inadvertently and accidentally dialed 911.
The defendant then walked outside and waited for police to respond. Shortly thereafter, Providence Police Officer Robert Savage drove down Canton Street in a marked policer cruiser, stopping in the vicinity of the defendant’s apartment to illuminate residence with a spotlight affixed to his cruiser. At that point, the defendant began to fire at Officer Savage in his cruiser.
Under fire, Officer Savage reversed his cruiser away from the defendant. The defendant fired at least 13 times at Officer Savage, striking his cruiser twice. The defendant then fled back into his apartment, and out a back door.
Investigators learned that the defendant had fled to a nearby home on Sears Avenue, and a short time later, he surrendered to assembled police officers.
In a subsequent search of the defendant’s apartment, investigators seized an AR-15-style 5.56 caliber ghost gun, equipped with a large-capacity magazine, that was used to shoot at Officer Savage. Investigators also seized a stolen Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm semi-automatic handgun and several boxes of opened and unopened boxes of various calibers of ammunition.
“The men and women of the Providence Police Department put their lives on the line every day to ensure public safety, sometimes stepping into harm’s way in the process,” said Providence Police Chief Oscar Perez. “I am proud of the work conducted by our officers throughout this investigation and thank the prosecutors at the Office of the Attorney General for bringing the defendant to justice.”