standing Richmond police
Editor's Note: The latest version of the story, which includes names and details regarding the dispute, is available at
Original Story: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at 1:45 p.m.

RICHMOND — A 79-year-old woman was shot in the stomach during a dispute with a 77-year-old man at a local campground Thursday and the Richmond police said the alleged shooter was later found dead in Exeter from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. 
Richmond police, with assistance from the Rhode Island State Police, were investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting, which was reported at 8:20 a.m. at the Wawaloam Campground at 510 Gardiner Road. 

Police Chief Elwood M. Johnson Jr. said Westerly dispatchers, who handle fire-and-rescue calls for Richmond, contacted the department after receiving a 911 call from a person at the campground who reported that a woman had suffered a gunshot wound to her abdomen.

The woman was conscious and alert when officers arrived, and she identified her attacker, Johnson said. She was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

"Lt. John Arnold was the first on scene and actually spoke with the victim before she was transported to Rhode Island Hospital," Johnson said. "She identified her assailant as a 77-year-old adult male resident of the campground who was known to her."

The names of the people were being withheld, but Johnson said his department would provide updates, including names, as the investigation progresses.

Details of the dispute were not released, but Johnson confirmed that the two knew each other. "We are not disclosing the motive, but it is not domestic-related, and involves a dispute," he said.
Johnson said that after receiving information from the victim, an alert was sent to neighboring communities. Within an hour, the Rhode Island State Police found the suspect's car in Exeter, where Johnson said the man was found dead, an apparent suicide.

Around noon, officers were contending with rain and continuing to process the scene. The owners of the campground, which is celebrating its 50th year, could not be reached for comment. New media personnel were confined to an area near the campground's welcome center, outside the entrance to the residential portion of the property.

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