Dupere: Fall River officer-involved shooting will be found justified

Dupere: Fall River officer-involved shooting will be found justified

Brian Fraga Herald News Staff Reporter @BfragaHNStaff Reporter

FALL RIVER — Albert Dupere, Fall River's new police chief, said he believes the Nov. 12 officer-involved shooting on Airport Road will be found justified.

"That's just based on what I've heard and my personal opinion," Dupere said minutes after being sworn-in as police chief in a ceremony at Government Center.

Dupere declined to disclose any additional information on the shooting, such as the officer's name. Dupere said the officer has been placed on administrative duties. Per protocol, police officers involved in a shooting are normally placed on administrative duty, where they perform solely administrative functions, pending the outcome of an investigation by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

On Nov. 12, just after 11:37 p.m., the unnamed Fall River police officer shot and killed Larry Ruiz-Barreto, 19, of New Bedford, who was reportedly driving a vehicle and did not comply with the officer’s attempts to stop him from leaving the scene at Airport and Riggenbach roads.

Police radio scanner reports indicate that the officer was the first one to arrive at the scene. The officer was responding to a 911 call reporting a “car smoking,” two loud bangs that sounded like gunshots, “several cars in the area” and a “green hatchback with stickers all over it.” Early indications are that people were drag racing in that area.

While trying to stop a vehicle from leaving the scene, the officer shot into the car, fatally wounding the driver, Ruiz-Barreto, who was later pronounced dead at Charlton Memorial Hospital.

A source close to the investigation who is not authorized to speak publicly about the probe previously told The Herald News that the investigation indicates that Ruiz-Barreto’s vehicle drove at the police officer around the time of the shooting. The source also said the vehicle somehow struck the officer, though the source said investigators were still trying to determine the exact sequence of events.

On Friday, Dupere said the district attorney's office will release information after completing its investigation into the shooting. A spokeswoman for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office was not immediately available for comment.

This story will be updated if new information becomes available.

Email Brian Fraga at bfraga@heraldnews.com

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