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Fatal shooting of Rhode Island’s Russell Dufault by officers ruled justified by grand jury



Today, the Providence County Grand Jury has reported out the results of its investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the fatal police shooting of Russell Dufault during an attempted arrest on April 27, 2022, in Woonsocket. The grand jury determined that the actions of the members of the Violent Fugitive Task Force, including Rhode Island State Police Detectives Theodore Gibbons and Greg Demarco and a deputy United States Marshal, were lawful and legally justified.

According to authorities, on April 27th, 2022, at approximately 12:30 p.m., a woman came to the Rhode Island State Police Barracks in Lincoln stating that earlier that morning, a man known to her, 58-year-old Russell Dufault of Portsmouth, RI, assaulted, and held her at gunpoint against her will in the driveway of her Little Compton home.

Officials say that DuFault demanded $80,000, which he believed was stolen by a member of her family. The victim stated that DuFault forcibly removed her from the vehicle she was in, pointed a gun at her, and threatened to kill her. After about 30 minutes, DuFault let her leave the scene, according to the report.

A warrant was then issued for DuFault for Felony Assault and Kidnapping.

Based on DuFault’s criminal history, which included several counts of armed robbery in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and a firearm possibly being present, the warrant was turned over to the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force.

DuFault was located by authorities in his vehicle in Woonsocket. Members of the Task Force reportedly approached DuFault in an attempt to arrest him. Officials say that DuFault attempted to flee the scene by driving his vehicle directly at the officers, hitting a U.S. Marshal which threw him onto the hood of the vehicle. DuFault continued to drive forward, hitting an unmarked cruiser and pinning a detective. Two officers then shot at DuFault, fatally injuring him.

Given Rhode Island law and procedure regarding grand jury secrecy, no further information regarding the proceedings were released.

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