Providence gang shootout sends 3 people to prison

Three Providence street gang members will all serve over 10 years in prison

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Three people involved in a gang-related shootout in a residential neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island, last year that left nine people injured have been sent to prison, state Attorney General Peter Neronha said Thursday.

George Rios, 19, Jordanny Britto, 21, and Reynaldo Rivera, 20, all of Providence, were sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in Superior Court to charges including assault with a dangerous weapon with a criminal street gang enhancement, discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence and carrying a pistol without a license.

Rios and Britto were sentenced to serve 12 years each behind bars with an additional 20 years suspended with probation, while Rivera was sentenced 10 years to serve plus 20 years suspended with probation, the attorney general said.

The cases against three other people involved in the shootout, in which more than 50 shots were fired, remain pending.

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"These three individuals turned a peaceful Providence neighborhood into their own personal shooting range," Neronha said in a statement. "Such conduct is incredibly dangerous, far too often deadly, and remains a principal focus of our prosecutorial resources. The long sentences imposed by the court here should send a strong message that gun violence will bring the most serious consequences."

Providence Police investigate a shooting on Carolina Avenue which left 9 injured and 3 behind bars.

Providence Police investigate a shooting on Carolina Avenue which left 9 injured and 3 behind bars. (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File)

The gunfire was the result of an ongoing gang dispute, authorities said.

Rios, Britto and Rivera were among four members of the Get Money Family gang who, just before 7 p.m. May 12, 2021, approached a home in the city in a pickup truck, authorities said. They jumped out of the vehicle and started firing at people on the home's front porch, who were associated with the rival Lakeside gang, authorities said.

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At least two people on the porch, including a juvenile, returned fire, police said. Several bullets struck a home across the street.

Nine people were injured — eight by gunfire and one by flying glass — police chief Col. Hugh Clements said at the time.

Rios, Britto and Rivera were among the injured, and after the shootout they returned to their pickup and drove themselves to the hospital.

Investigators searched the targeted home and found more than 500 rounds of ammunition in various calibers, as well as 12 pistol and rifle magazines, four of which were large-capacity magazines able to hold over 30 rounds. Such large-capacity magazines were recently outlawed in Rhode Island.

They also found several guns, including one ghost gun and some that had had their serial numbers removed, authorities said.

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"The city is a safer place with these criminals behind bars," Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré said.