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 May 3, 2005
Detective killed inside police headquarters shot by his own gun
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A Providence police detective killed early Sunday at police headquarters was shot with his own service weapon as he questioned a suspect, Police Chief Dean Esserman said.

James Allen, a 27-year veteran, was shot in the third-floor detective conference room early Sunday morning while questioning Estenban Carpio, 26, about his possible connection to a Saturday stabbing, Esserman said.

Carpio, who was being questioned about the attack on an 84-year-old woman, allegedly got hold of the gun, shot Allen, broke a window in an adjacent office and jumped onto the service road that borders the building.

Carpio was not under arrest and had been taken out of handcuffs at the time of the shooting, Esserman said.

A short time after fleeing, Carpio was apprehended a few blocks away after a struggle, Esserman said. Police said Carpio was injured in his jump from the third floor, and was taken to the hospital with injures to his leg, arm and head. He was released into police custody Sunday morning.

At a news conference Sunday morning, Esserman would not say how Carpio managed to get Allen�s weapon, and would not discuss other details leading up to the shooting. He also would not discuss the protocols for carrying weapons inside police headquarters or for interviewing potential suspects.

�The investigation has begun and we will find answers, but not here this morning,� he said. �We will have an investigation. We will look into all that happened.�

No charges had been filed as of Sunday morning. Police would not say whether there were witnesses to the shooting. A gun, believed to be Allen�s, was discovered below the window where Carpio allegedly escaped.

�It is little consolation that a suspect has been apprehended,� Esserman said. �We�ve lost a remarkable man today and this city is the worse for it.�

Allen, who was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital a short time after the shooting, was described as a loving husband and father to two daughters, and a hero to the city of Providence.

�Jimmy Allen passed in the noblest way possible. He gave his life trying to make our lives safer,� Cicilline said.

Police said Allen, 50, was investigating the attack on the elderly woman, who was stabbed in a struggle over her purse early Saturday afternoon. She was hospitalized on Sunday, and was expected to recover.

Deputy Police Chief Paul Kennedy said Allen was an experienced investigator, and one of the department�s longest-serving detectives. His father is retired Providence police Capt. Lloyd Allen.

�Jimmy was one of the most wonderful human beings you could ever meet,� said Kennedy, who attended the police academy with Allen in 1978. He praised Allen for his kindness as well as a �phenomenal memory� that served him in his work.

Visitors to the Providence Public Safety Complex, which houses police headquarters, have been required to pass through a metal detector since last fall, shortly after man carrying a loaded gun walked into the building�s lobby and told an officer he might hurt himself or someone else. Officers were able to disarm him, and no one was hurt.

The last time a city police officer was shot to death was in January 2000, when Sgt. Cornel Young Jr., off duty and in plain clothes, was killed by fellow officers who mistook him for a suspect when he ran to their aid during a disturbance outside a diner.

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