FALL RIVER — A 19-year-old was fatally shot by police late Sunday night after the first officer responding to a call for “possible gunshots” fired at a car seen leaving the scene, the DA probing the shooting said.
Larry Ruiz-Barreto of New Bedford died following the shooting near the intersections of Airport and Riggenbach roads shortly after 11:30 p.m., police said.
The shooting is being investigated by Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office. The DA said in a statement yesterday police were called to the scene for “possible gunshots” and came upon cars leaving the area.
“Police responded to this location, and upon approach, observed a number of vehicles leaving the area. The first responding officer attempted to stop a vehicle from leaving the scene. During this encounter, the police officer fired shots into the vehicle, striking the operator,” the statement read.
Ruiz-Barreto died at Charlton Memorial Hospital, authorities said.
Fall River police said in a statement a “complainant” reported there was a “smoking car” and two “loud bangs sounded like gunshots” drawing cops to the scene.
“The complainant also reported they were unsure if people are fighting or if it was a crash. Further information was given describing ‘several cars in the area’ and a ‘green hatchback with stickers all over it smoking,’ ” police said.
Neither Quinn’s office nor Fall River police answered additional questions about the shooting yesterday.
Following the shooting, five of Ruiz-Barreto’s family members were arrested at the hospital on various charges, including disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, threats to commit a crime and vandalism, according to court records.
One relative, Jose Ruiz-Hernandez, 42, was also charged with assault and battery on a police officer, records show. He was held without bail in an open case out of New Bedford yesterday in Fall River District Court, while the four other family members were released on their own recognizance, court officials said.
A police report stated learning of their loved one’s death prompted “screaming and yelling” and “throwing chairs, tables, and kicking objects.”
Several family members and friends of Ruiz-Barreto at court yesterday shed tears and hugged in court. Most declined comment, with one saying he was about to become a dad....Read more