WOONSOCKET – It was the kind of scream that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up – quickly followed by a series of gunshots.
Colleen MacKenzie instinctively ran toward the chilling cries and couldn’t believe her eyes. Ikey Wilson, a man with whom she is familiar, lay face down across the pavement on the Fairmount Street Bridge, covered in blood. His girlfriend, pregnant with his child, was pacing frantically about, in the throes of an emotional breakdown.
“I’m still shaking,” MacKenzie said Monday. “I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that before, a man shot and left for dead. Because that’s what they did. They meant to kill him.”
Christian Rosado of Worcester was arraigned in District Court Monday on charges of attempted murder, assault with the intent to commit a felony, and discharging a firearm in a populated area in connection with Wilson’s shooting. Police say Wilson was shot four times – in the back, foot and both ankles – by Rosado and, possibly, at least one other gunman who remains at large.
Rosado, who declined to provide his date of birth to authorities, was ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions following his court appearance. Rosado was last reported in stable condition at Rhode Island Hospital after undergoing surgery.
The most destructive outbreak of gun violence in years – there hasn’t been a homicide in the city since 2010 – began unfolding about 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
MacKenzie and her boyfriend, Charley DiChiaro, run a bar at 158 Fairmount St., directly across the street from the bridge. DiChiaro lives upstairs from the bar and MacKenzie, who works as a bartender, sometimes stays over.
DiChiaro and MacKenzie were relaxing on the back stoop behind the bar Saturday night when they heard the piercing screams coming from the bridge. Moments later, she and DiChiaro both heard a series of gunshots.
“It was like pop, pop, pop-pop-pop,” said DiChiaro. “I would say it was about six shots.”
As MacKenzie headed toward the bridge, she saw three men running down First Avenue. She thought they had something to do with the shooting and they appeared to be fleeing the scene, she said.
When she got to the bridge, about 75 yards from the front of the bar, there was a woman screaming hysterically as she paced frantically about a man lying face-down on the pavement, in the middle of the road. She could see at least one entry wound in the man’s back, and she wasn’t sure if he was still alive.
“There was blood everywhere,” said MacKenzie. “He wasn’t talking.”
MacKenzie, who had already called 911, concentrated on comforting the young woman. She said the woman appeared to be in her mid-20s, about the same age as Wilson. She told MacKenzie she was pregnant with Wilson’s child and that they had recently moved to Woonsocket from Cranston.
The woman was apparently familiar with Rosado, according to MacKenzie, because she identified the alleged shooter by name while the police were on the scene. The woman also told MacKenzie that the shooting stemmed from an altercation earlier Saturday that took place at Costa Park, near the bridge, and that it involved a friend of Wilson’s who was staying at his apartment nearby.
It turns out that MacKenzie was familiar not only with Wilson, but with the alleged shooter as well. On Sunday night, just about 24 hours after the shooting, plainclothes detectives came into Charley’s Place and arrested Rosado while he was sitting at one of the few tables in the cozy tap.
DiChiaro said Rosado started coming in about two months ago, oftentimes with a couple of friends. They said one of the most striking features of his personality was his meticulous nature with his appearance. Sometimes he came in wearing a wide-brimmed, dark hat and a pair of dark-rimmed glasses.
“Very well-groomed, very well dressed, almost to the point of OCD,” was how MacKenzie put it.
Rosado didn’t talk about his line of work, but he displayed some evidence of a volatile temper. DiChiaro wasn’t on duty at the time, but he heard that Rosado punched one of his customers recently.
Detective Jamie Paone, a spokeswoman for the Woonsocket police, declined to corroborate most of the information that came from DiChiaro and MacKenzie. She said the investigation is ongoing and it’s possible that Rosado may not have been the only shooter, however.
One detective at the scene said a witness reported hearing an argument before the gunfire, said Paone, but she declined to elaborate on what it was about or a possible motive in the shooting. She declined to say whether police recovered a gun or what caliber weapon was used.
Yesterday morning, a handful of plainclothes and uniformed policemen were still crisscrossing the Fairmount Street Bridge, processing the crime scene. One officer carried a tape measure, while others peered at the ground, apparently looking for spent shell casings.
The police issued a statement asking anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Mark Cabral at (401)767-8870 or the Woonsocket Police Anonymous Tip Line at (401)769-4444