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WPD officer who stopped Landmark gunman: ‘You could see the muzzle flash’

February 21, 2014

Jose M. Giles faces five charges after Thursday night's incident at Lamdmark Medical Center. (Photo courtesy Woonsocket Police Department)

WOONSOCKET — When Jose M. Giles started lifting the barrel of his .22-caliber rifle, Lt. Brad Scully wasn’t sure where he was going to point it.

“My main concern as I’m approaching him, obviously, is that he’s going to point it at us, the police,” said Scully. “I was surprised somebody behind me didn’t shoot him.”

As the point man for a group of officers armed with assault rifles and clad in body armor, Scully had a good view of Giles as he exited his truck outside Landmark Medical Center Thursday night. He could see that Giles was not pointing the gun toward members of the so-called Special Response Team.

He was pointing it at his own head.

As he advanced toward Giles, Scully repeatedly ordered him to put down the rifle. All at once, it seemed, Scully was close enough to Giles to see that he was about to pull the trigger.

The gun went off just as Scully knocked the barrel away from its intended target. It was such a near-miss, said Scully, he could practically see the bullet part Giles’ hair.

“You could see the smoke come out of the barrel,” said Scully. “You could see the muzzle flash. I could practically see the round go right by his head. He was shocked the bullet didn’t hit him.”

Scully’s dramatic encounter with Giles was the epilogue of a saga outside the Cass Avenue Hospital that began shortly before 7 p.m., when police received a 911 call of a suicidal man parked outside the emergency room. The hospital went into lockdown mode, rerouting rescue squads to other hospitals until Giles was eventually subdued, about two hours later.

Full story appears on page A1 of Saturday's Call.

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