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5 shootings in 4 days mark bloody week in Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Five young men have been shot in neighborhoods throughout the city in the last four days, including one who was murdered on the edge of Johnson & Wales University’s Harborside campus.

Jamal Contreras, 22, had been shot at a year and a half ago, and before that had spent time in prison on a gun and armed robbery conviction. On Tuesday evening, someone opened fire on him as he drove on Michigan Avenue. Fatally wounded, Contreras drove into another car, causing a chain collision, and was found unresponsive behind the wheel.

Contreras is the second person murdered in the city this year, and one of the most recent victims of a shooting.

Police have not charged anyone with Contreras’ murder, or the other recent shootings.

Two Providence teenagers were shot and wounded in unrelated crimes within an hour on Wednesday.

Braian Mejia Vasquez, 19, told police that he’d arranged a meeting with people over Facebook to sell a cellphone. However, when Vasquez arrived at 7:30 p.m. at the meeting place, a parking lot by 31 Harriet St., the buyers got into his car, drew a gun and said, “Psych! Empty your pockets and give me all your money,” according to a […]

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