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Father seeks answers after teen is shot, wounded by police

[anvplayer video=”1071171″ /] WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A Woonsocket man faced a judge Monday after he was shot and wounded by police over the weekend.

According to Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates, officers were dispatched to the area of Elm Street at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of vandalism. Police arrived to find a fight taking place in which one man was injured with a machete and another was hit with a pipe.

Oates said Mitchell Savard IV fled on foot behind some houses and was pursued by Officer Sean Rochette. At one point, Savard turned around and “engaged” with the officer, who fired one round.

Savard, 19, was struck in the hand and leg. He was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was treated and released.

“I know he’s not an angel. But he didn’t deserve to get shot,” said Michelle Savoie, Savard’s grandmother. “He was in a defensive position saying ‘ok, here I am’ and they shot him.”

(Courtesy of Woonsocket Police Department)
(Courtesy of Woonsocket Police Department)

Officials are now investigating Savard’s involvement at the crime scene and what led up to the shooting. It’s not clear at this time if Savard had a weapon, according to Oates.

Savard’s father, Mitchell Savard III, is adamant his son should not have been shot and said he wants to know what caused Officer Rochette to open fire.

“This officer shot an unarmed boy, a teenager,” Savard said. “So watch your teenagers if you’re going to let them out at night because they might get shot by a cop.”

Savard was arraigned Monday on charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing police. His bail was set at $1,000 but he was ordered held as a probation violator on a previous disorderly conduct charge until a hearing Sept.12.

Chief Oates said more charges are possible.

Meanwhile, Officer Rochette has been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation. According to Oates, Rochette is a patrol officer and a four-year veteran of the force.

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