Rhode Island Police Explain How Cruiser Was Stolen Prior to Deadly I-95 Shooting

Rhode Island State Police say the man who stole a police cruiser last week had his hands cuffed in front of his body because he was injured, and that is what allowed him to drive the car.

Investigators said a Rhode Island state trooper left Donald Morgan in the back of a cruiser alone with the keys in the ignition.

"He somehow got out of the rear seat into the front of the crusier while he was cuffed and stole that crusier," said state police Col. Ann Assumpico.

The incident happened Thursday as Morgan was being driven to court.

The trooper pulled over on the highway to help out with a crash when Morgan made his escape.

"This trooper did follow the proper protocol,” Assumpico said.

She said most of her cruisers do not have barriers between the back and front seats.

During the manhunt for Morgan, police were reportedly told he was hiding in the back of a white pickup truck.

Police tried to pull over a truck on the highway, but the driver kept going.

It turned into a highway shootout with officers firing more than 40 rounds.

The driver, Joseph Santos, was shot and killed.

Morgan was nowhere to be found.

Investigators said they arrested Morgan the next day at a home in Cumberland and he did not go without a fight.

"A Taser was used. And there was a physical altercation."

Two other people at the home were also arrested.

Assumpico said the trooper who had his car stolen is still on the job and is not facing any disciplinary action. 

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