PAWTUCKET — Pawtucket police are seeking information from the public, as well as reviewing surveillance camera footage, as they try to find a suspect in the Dec. 24 shooting of Ryan Almeida.
The 21-year-old man was shot at around 5 a.m., just outside his mother's apartment in the Galego Court housing complex on Leonard Jenard Drive. Almeida was found lying injured on the ground and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he later died.
Major Arthur Martins said Thursday that the investigation is still ongoing and there was nothing new to report about a suspect or motive in the slaying. He added that police are still urging anyone with information about the crime to contact detectives.
Family members of Almeida’s told police they didn’t know why he had been shot. The young man, who also lived in Providence, was not previously known to Pawtucket police.
Police have not given any details about Almeida's activities in the time leading up to his death, citing the ongoing investigation. The multi-unit brick apartment buildings of Galego Court have security cameras mounted on them, and investigators are continuing to review footage, Martins said.
Galego Court, operated by the Pawtucket Housing Authority, has a guard shack and a gate at the entrance, located off Weeden Street, and often posts a security guard to check motorists coming in. However, at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, there was no one on duty.
Stephen Vadnais, executive director of the Pawtucket Housing Authority, said that cutbacks were made well over a year ago to the security guard shifts, and they are not done round-the-clock. He said a security guard is still on duty during evenings, but no one was scheduled to work at that early morning hour.
“Maybe at one point, we had security (in the guard shack) 24/7, but the Housing Authority could no longer afford to do that,” Vadnais said.
He added, however, that there are numerous surveillance cameras on the apartment buildings, and the staff is comprised of three former police officers who rotate through there on a frequent basis. Pawtucket police also do regular patrolling in the area, he said.
Vadnais added that the incident is still actively being investigated and that it hadn’t even been established if the gunman arrived by car. He said that 24/7 surveillance is not standard operating procedure in public housing, and that crime problems “go deeper” than simply focusing on preventative measures such as posting a security guard.
Anyone with information about Almeida’s slaying is asked to call Pawtucket Police at (401) 727-9100, ext. 740 for Detective Sgt. Paul Brandley, ext. 737 for Detective Donti Rosciti, or ext. 760 for Detective David Silva.