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12-year-old recognized for bravery and heroic actions after arson, shooting



Photo courtesy of Cranston PD

Colonel Winquist, Major Patalano, Sergeant Weller, Detective Iacone and Mayor Hopkins welcomed Seraphina Cotugno and her family to Cranston Police Headquarters Thursday. Seraphina received the CPD Civilian Award and a citation by the Mayor for her bravery and heroic actions.

On the evening of March 18, 2024, 12-year-old Seraphina Cotugno was awakened to the noise of a loud bang, later determined to be a gunshot, and smelled fire in the air coming from the neighbor’s house. She immediately notified family members who subsequently called 911. Serphina then escorted her 9-year-old brother and 84-year-old foster grandmother out of the house to safety while her foster mother checked on the neighbor.

The neighbor, an eighty-year-old man, was found dead inside the garage from a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound after setting multiple fires in the home.

The Cranston Police recognized Cotugno for her heroic actions on March 18. Because of her quick thinking and courage to act, police and fire were quickly dispatched to the scene and able to control the fire before it spread to surrounding homes.

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