3 face charges in Providence homicide; 2 others sought

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Three people have been apprehended and two additional people are being sought in connection with the fatal shooting of a Maine man in Providence last month, police said Friday.

A teenager from Fall River, Massachusetts, who is now 18 but was 17 at the time of the Jan. 16 shooting, is suspected of being the gunman and faces murder and other charges, Providence police Maj. David Lapatin said.

A 25-year-old Fall River man and a 23-year-old Attleboro, Massachusetts man face accessory charges, he said. The two people still at large face murder and conspiracy charges.

The victim was previously identified as Biniam Tsegai, 35, of Portland, Maine. His companion, Merhawi Berhe, 28, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was also shot and remains in the hospital, Lapatin said.

The victims had just left an illegal after-hours nightclub at about 3 a.m. when they encountered the suspects and a physical altercation ensued before the gunfire broke out, police said. It’s unclear what sparked the altercation.

The suspects fled but were identified through surveillance video.

There is no known connection between the victims and the suspects and Detective Capt. Tim O’Hara described it as a random shooting.

Tsegai’s death was the city’s first homicide of 2022.