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Questions linger after deadly Rhode Island police shooting

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --  The police chief in Providence is defending his officers' use of force in a shooting that left one man killed and a woman injured.

Several officers were chasing a white pickup truck with two people inside when the shooting took place Thursday. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements says several officers on scene received enough of a threat to use that type of force, WFXT-TV reports.

Clements said the truck driver was behaving so aggressively, he was causing a huge public safety risk and several people were in danger. Police found no weapons in the truck.

A witness who filmed the shooting from a neighboring on-ramp told news outlets that the driver was boxed in on the road and slammed into cars behind him and in front of him as officers surrounded it.

The aftermath of a shootout on Interstate 95 in Providence, Rhode Island, on Thu., Nov. 9, 2017. Dan McGowan / WPRI-TV

The shootout came less than two hours after a suspect being taken to court was left in a state police cruiser alone and stole it, driving it to a Providence neighborhood and abandoning it.

Police initially said the shooting and theft were related, but then said later Thursday that the man who stole the police cruiser is not the same man who got into the shootout less than two hours later.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré said the vehicle theft and shooting are being investigated as two separate incidents, CBS affiliate WPRI-TV reports.

"One has nothing to do with the other," Paré said Thursday. "There was the theft of the trooper car, there was this chase by the police officers and then deadly force was used."

Paré said officers at the scene were wearing body cameras and the footage is currently under review.

Authorities still are searching for 35-year-old Donald Morgan who is wanted for stealing the cruiser, said State Police Col. Ann Assumpico. He was being transported to court and was left alone and handcuffed in the vehicle when the trooper stepped out to check on an accident, she said.

Donald Morgan WPRI-TV
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