06/08/2004

Reading, Penn. Officer Killed During Hunt For Murder Suspect; 'Friendly Fire Possible'

Officer Down: Michael Wise - [Reading, Pennsylvania]

Slain Reading, Penn. Officer: UPDATE
Reading, Penn. -? In two seperate incidents, six people were shot, two fatally, just blocks apart. One of the victims was a 32- year-old policeman.

Police say they have the man who initially opened fire on police, but it is not clear if he fired the shot who fired the officer.

Reading police officer Michael wise was one of three undercover patrolman staking out a car linked to an earlier Friday night killing of a college student. The trio were waiting for backup when a man from the car stepped out and opened fire, as police chief Charles Broad explained the next day.

One man, Benito Velazquez heard the shots and looked outside.

Police say the man who opened fire on police is 24-year-old Andrew Lee Smith. Smith, who police say was convicted of manslaughter in the past, claims police have the wrong man this time.

Police admit there is a question over who actually fired the shot that killed officer Wise. The FBI is conducting tests of the fatal bullet. The chief says it is possible Officer Wise was struck by friendly fire.
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