Violence Mars Holiday Weekend In Providence

Gregory Smith, Providence Journal, August 15, 2007

Nine people were shot and another six were stabbed in a rash of violent incidents over the three-day holiday weekend, the police reported. None of the victims apparently suffered a life-threatening wound.

There were three more shootings, according to the police, in which nobody was struck by a bullet. In one case a shooter fired at a man six times but missed; in a second case, a youth was shot in the stomach with a BB; and in another case, four shots were fired into the air near a house in Smith Hill that was hit by bullets six days earlier.

The police gang unit was sent to investigate at least four of the gun-related incidents because of suspicions that Asian gang members were involved.

In another gun-related incident, Jesus Titin, 28, of Providence, the proprietor of Mi Sueno restaurant and nightclub in South Providence, said he was forced to pull out his concealed handgun early Monday when someone showing a gun drove into the parking lot of his club. The car drove off and no shots were fired.

Counting the BB gun shooting, the weekend outburst brings to at least 12 the number of shooting victims in the week from Aug. 6 through Aug.13.

Maj. Stephen Campbell, commander of the police Investigative Division, sought to put the spasm of violence into context by pointing out that nobody was shot in Providence for 40 days prior to a shooting that occurred July 22. He said yesterday that the Police Department has responded to the most recent violence by making an extra effort to distribute packages of pertinent intelligence to all detectives and patrol officers. The plainclothes gang unit has been shifted to later work times and told to patrol on foot in the Asian gang hot spots, including Bernon, Wayne, Osborn and Goddard streets in Smith Hill and Waverly and Hanover streets in the West End.

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The first weekend shooting occurred between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday outside Paulie’s pizzeria at 326 Cranston St. in the West End. Kiplagott Stewart, 33, a felon whose last known address is 185 Benedict St., and Antonio Tavares, 26, of 50 Morris Ave., were both shot by an unidentified assailant with a black bandanna over his face.

Then two cousins, Savann Phin, 21, of 30 Goddard, and Kan Hosp Bou, 20, of 24 Bernon, were struck in an apparent drive-by shooting in front of Bou’s house at about 2:15 a.m. Sunday. Bou was among the more seriously injured of the weekend victims, with a bullet having passed through his arm and chest, according to the police.

A 17-year-old Smith Hill resident and witness, who accompanied the victims to the hospital, identified himself to the police as a member of the Tiny Rascals Asian gang.

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In a discovery that Campbell said may be related to the Desoto Street incident, a patrolman early yesterday morning spotted a man bend down in front of a car parked in a driveway at 895 Atwells Ave., Mount Pleasant, and then take a shiny metallic object from his pants pocket and throw it into a bush.

Officers said they found a 9mm semiautomatic pistol tucked into the grille of the car and an extra magazine for the pistol in the bush. They charged Daniel Duong, 24, of 895 Atwells, with possession of a firearm without a permit.

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