The identities of the two men killed in an early morning shooting just off of Bellevue Avenue on early Tuesday morning are now known.
Through information we have received from multiple sources (and checking to make certain that family members had been notified) we can now report that the two deceased males are Chris Smith, 48, and Steve Jemo, 35.
Smith and Jemo were friends who got into a physical struggle just before 2:00am on Tuesday at the corner of William and King Streets, directly behind the CVS plaza on Bellevue Avenue. Apparently Mr. Smith first brandished a firearm. Mr. Jemo then (and this is still being investigated, either pulled out his own gun or took Mr. Smith’s gun and) shot Mr. Smith in the head before turning the gun on himself.
Two weapons were recovered at the scene.
According to NBC 10, both gunshots were heard within five seconds. “I heard someone say, ‘Get your hands off of her,'” one woman, a college student who lives in an apartment on William Street, told NBC 10. “And then that’s when I heard the gunshots. Two, one after the other. Probably within five seconds of each other. And then I heard someone screaming and it was kind of a long, non-stop scream, and it was going away like down the street.”
WJAR 12 reports that Jessica Deegan told Eyewitness News she was walking home in the area just minutes before the shots were fired. “I hear loud arguing and yelling,” she said. “It all happened so fast. We heard two gunshots.”
Mr. Smith was was transported to Newport Hospital where he was pronounced dead and Mr. Jemo was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital at 6:45am.
Newport Police said this was an isolated incident and that there is no danger to the general public.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by this senseless tragedy.
photo via screen cap from WPRI TV