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Armed Fugitive Commits Suicide During Standoff in N.Y.

CICERO, N.Y. (AP) -- A 40-year-old man wanted for assaulting his ex-girlfriend killed himself with a handgun following a three-hour standoff with deputies early Monday.

Nicholas A. Rich, of Satellite Beach, Fla., died from a single shot to his head while surrounded by members of the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department SWAT team, said Sgt. John D'Eredita, a sheriff's spokesman.

Authorities had been seeking Rich since Nov. 26, when an arrest warrant was issued charging him with second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing.

D'Eredita said Rich was accused of attacking Christine Martino at the Army Recruiting Office in Mattydale on Nov. 25.

Rich allegedly entered the office and locked himself in with Martino. He used an electric stun gun and handcuffed Martino. After a struggle, Rich fled from the recruiting station.

Rich recently retired from the U.S. Army and was distraught over his former relationship with Martino, D'Eredita said.

On Sunday night, deputies and Cicero police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle and determined it was Rich, although they found the vehicle abandoned.

After searching the neighborhood 10 miles north of Syracuse for 30 minutes, authorities spotted Rich emerging from a boat stored outside Martino's garage. He was armed with a handgun, D'Eredita said.

Authorities surrounded the area and began a dialogue with Rich. At about 1:15 a.m., Rich turned his gun on himself. Paramedics at the scene were unable to save him, D'Eredita said.

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