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Police: Providence’s 1st homicide victim of year from Maine

January 18, 2022 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence, Rhode Island’s first homicide victim of 2022 was identified by police on Tuesday as a resident of Maine.

Biniam Tsegai, 35, of Portland, Maine, and Merhawi Berhe, 28, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, had apparently been at an illegal after hours club when they were approached by a group of four men on the street at about 3 a.m. Sunday, Providence police Maj. David Lapatin said.

There was a physical altercation first, then one of the four took out a gun and shot Tsegai and Berhe multiple times, he said.

Tsegai died at the scene. Berhe was taken to Rhode Island Hospital where he underwent surgery and is recovering.

The four men who approached the victims remain at large and the killing remains under investigation. It’s unclear if they knew Tsegai and Berhe or why the victims traveled to Rhode Island, Lapatin said.

“This is an unacceptable act of violence, and my heart hurts for the family and friends of the victims,” Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said on Twitter.

There were 23 homicides in Providence last year.

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This story has been changed to correct Berhe’s age to 28.