Rhode Island senior-housing complex shooting leaves 1 dead, 2 wounded

The suspect, a 66-year-old resident, was found dead in his apartment from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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By Minyvonne Burke and David K. Li

Three people were shot, one of them fatally, when a resident of an assisted living building in Westerly, Rhode Island, opened fire Thursday morning, authorities said.

The suspect, a 66-year-old man, was found dead in his apartment from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said police chief Shawn Lacey at a news conference.

The shooting happened just after 10:30 a.m. near the front office area at the Babcock Village Apartments. The three people shot were all women.

When police arrived, a 47-year-old employee was found dead at the scene, Lacey said. Two others, a 38-year-old employee and a 67-year-old resident, were found suffering from gunshot wounds and taken to local hospitals.

One of the victims is in critical condition and the other underwent surgery and is stable, Lacey said.

When police arrived, they initially did not have a suspect and reviewed surveillance video to track the shooter to an apartment in the building. Authorities did not say what led up to the incident.

State police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives responded to assist local authorities.

Authorities respond to shooting in Westerly, Rhode Island.WJAR

Babcock Village is a three-story building that offers affordable housing for the elderly and disabled, according to its website. Residents must meet low-income housing guidelines, the site says.

"We are shocked and saddened that this tragedy has occurred," the complex's owner, Property Advisory Group & Affordable Housing Strategies Inc., said in a statement. "Our priority, as always, is the safety of our residents and staff."

Westerly schools announced at around 11:08 a.m. that they were in lockdown "until further notice." Shortly before 12:45 p.m. the lockdown was lifted and the high school dismissed students early, Westerly Public Schools said in a Facebook post. All other schools were to dismiss students at the usual times.

The emergency room at Westerly Hospital was also briefly on lockdown, as well as, apparently, a local dentist's office.

The Rhode Island Department of Health said a medical examiner was at the scene, WJAR reported. Westerly is on the southwestern shore of Rhode Island near the Connecticut border and about 44 miles from Providence.