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July 02, 2006
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Police fatally shoot shoplifting suspect in R.I.

The Associated Press

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I.- Police on Sunday shot and killed a man suspected of shoplifting from a grocery store as he tried to flee in a minivan with his 5-year-old daughter, authorities said.

The officer opened fire after being struck by the suspect's minivan, according to a statement from police Chief Steven Reynolds.

Store security at the Stop & Shop supermarket called police at about 2:15 p.m. to report a shoplifter who had just left the store with another man. The responding officer confronted the suspect in the parking lot.

The suspect, identified as James Wilcox, 34, of Pawtucket, struck the officer as he tried to flee in his vehicle. The officer, whose name was not released, fired one shot that struck Wilcox in the stomach, police said.

Wilcox was pronounced dead on arrival at Rhode Island Hospital. The officer was treated and released.

State child welfare officials were called to the scene to take care of the girl. It was unclear if she was injured and whether the officer knew she was in the vehicle.

The other man, Carl Dinsmore, 45, of Cranston, was apprehended nearby.

Wilcox and Dinsmore both have criminal records with outstanding warrants, police said.

The officer who fired the fatal shot has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting. Rhode Island State Police are handling the investigation.

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