Man Involved in Incident Near Seekonk Speedway Last Week Dies

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Thomas M. Quinn III
District Attorney​
Press Release
April 13, 2020​

The 38-year-old East Providence, RI, man who shot himself inside a vehicle on Route 6 in Seekonk last week, died Saturday afternoon at Rhode Island Hospital.

The man has been identified as Derek Belanger.

The following information is a result of a preliminary investigation into the incident.  The matter remains under investigation at this time. 

At 3:05 pm on April 9, Swansea Police received a 911 call from a man, who reported that while he was at the Cumberland Farrms on Route 6, Mr. Bellanger had shown a gun and said something to the effect of “somebody should call 911.”  The witness then observed Bellanger get into a 2005 Mercedes SUV and sit for several minutes before eventually leaving the parking lot.  

Swansea Police subsequently sent out a BOLO to surrounding towns regarding the vehicle.  A state trooper who happened to be in the area at the time spotted the vehicle and attempted to pull it over as Bellanger continued to drive through the town of Rehoboth and into the town of Seekonk.  At this point, the trooper was joined by officers from Seekonk and Swansea Police. Belanger eventually stopped his vehicle on Route 6 near the Seekonk Speedway.

After ignoring the state trooper’s verbal request for him to get out of his vehicle, police watched as Belanger reached his right hand out of the driver’s side window of the vehicle while brandishing a firearm. The officers moved to the rear of their cruisers to take protective measures when they heard a single gunshot come from Bellanger’s vehicle.  When the officers approached Belanger’s vehicle, they found him unconscious in the driver’s seat of the vehicle with the handgun in his right hand.

Belanger was extricated from the vehicle, rendered first aid and rushed to Rhode Island Hospital, where he died late Saturday afternoon.


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications