PAWTUCKET — Two men wearing masks and brandishing handguns robbed approximately 12 people who were watching Monday Night Football in a city rental space just after 11 p.m., Monday.
According to Pawtucket Police Maj. Arthur Martins, the suspects had confronted two men who had left the converted mill building, located at 545 Pawtucket Ave. (across the road from Gold's Gym), to smoke cigarettes outside.
The gunmen then ordered them up the stairs to Unit 302, where several people had congregated to watch the NFL tilt between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers.
The suspects told those inside the unit to lie on the floor and stole from them cash, wallets, cell phones, jewelry and other items of value, Martins stated. He added the men who had been outside smoking were part of the entourage watching the game.
“The incident occurred in a renovated mill, and there are four or five levels within that mill,” he said. “It's not zoned as a residence, not that I'm aware of; the unit is more of a rental space. I can say that no injuries were sustained, but the victims obviously were shook up after being robbed at gunpoint.”
Martins also noted detectives believe the act may not have been random in nature.
“We're investigating the possibility that the gunmen knew what was going on in that private, rented room and knew there would be people inside who had some valuables,” Martins indicated. “We're now looking into whether the victims had been targeted. We're still in the process of interviewing the victims, but the investigation is still in its infancy stage.
“We hope to conclude initial interviews with them on Wednesday,” he added, “but there may be subsequent interviews afterward.”