17-year-old girl shot, killed in Rhode Island

The girl was shot while driving a vehicle near a Woonsocket apartment complex at about 10 p.m. Wednesday.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — The shooting death of a 17-year-old Rhode Island girl killed as she sat in the driver’s seat of an SUV on Wednesday night may have been a case of mistaken identity, police said Thursday.

Someone approached the vehicle and opened fire, striking Nyasia Williams-Thomas as she sat in the vehicle near a Woonsocket apartment complex at about 10 p.m., police Chief Thomas Oates said.

Williams-Thomas, a city resident, tried to drive away but struck several parked vehicles before coming to a stop, he said. She was taken to Landmark Hospital where she was pronounced dead.


A 21-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy also in the vehicle were not hurt. They were taken to police headquarters for questioning and were said to be cooperating. Police did not disclose the relationship of the three people in the SUV.

The names of the other two people were not released.

The shooting was not a random act of violence, police said. “Someone in the vehicle was targeted and this may be a case of mistaken identity,” police said in a release Thursday.

The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been announced.


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