Coventry Man Sentenced to Prison for Shooting at Attleboro Police
ATTLEBORO — A man from Coventry, Rhode Island was sentenced on Monday to up to 15 years in prison for starting a shootout with Attleboro police after breaking into a church nearly four years ago.
The Bristol County District Attorney's Office said 45-year-old Eric Lindsey pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to charges of armed assault with intent to murder, breaking and entering, and several firearms offenses.
He was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison.
Attleboro police responded on Aug. 27, 2018 to a phone call from a pastor at the Assembly of God Church at 1052 Newport Avenue reporting an incident at the church.
The pastor said he had arrived at around 6:30 a.m. to find a man, later identified as Lindsey, sitting in the foyer and holding a firearm.
Following a short conversation with the pastor, the man left with the gun and two backpacks, and the pastor called the police, the D.A.'s office said.
Several officers were dispatched to find the man, with the first two seeing and confronting him on Newport Avenue.
One officer told Lindsey via his cruiser's PA system to stop and drop his backpack — and he appeared to comply, before turning and firing a semi-automatic handgun directly at police.
The first officer said the bullets went through the driver's side windshield, shattering the glass.
Broken glass shards hit him in the face and he dropped out of the driver's side door as the bullets hit the driver's side headrest and seat, the D.A.'s office said.
The cruiser began to slowly roll towards Lindsey as the officer started shooting back at the man — but when the cruiser continued rolling away, he eventually had to run for cover behind the second officer's cruiser.
According to the D.A.'s office, as he ran, he could see the suspect deliberately aiming at him from about 15 to 20 feet away.
Meanwhile the second officer at first was unable to fire his service rifle, as the first officer was in his line of sight. But once he was clear, the second officer fired several rounds from his service rifle.
The suspect eventually fell to the ground with serious injuries, including a severed femoral artery.
Once backup arrived, the two officers applied tourniquets to Lindsey's legs and gave him other medical treatment before he was taken to Rhode Island Hospital.
The first police officer involved in the shootout had a laceration to his leg, but neither officer sustained other injuries.
Lindsey was searched for weapons before he was taken to the hospital.
Police found a knife in his shorts pocket, an empty .40 caliber Ruger semi-automatic handgun with a high-capacity magazine in front of him, and another handgun and multiple high-capacity magazines and other ammunition in Lindsey's backpack.
Lindsey was sentenced to serve 12 to 15 years in state prison followed by five years of probation including GPS monitoring and mandatory mental health treatment.
“This defendant tried to kill two police officers after being caught breaking into a church building," Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said.
"This defendant clearly had no regard for their lives and needs to be kept off the streets for a long time," he added. "The officers should be commended for quickly saving the defendant’s life, even after being fired upon by him."