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The Suburbanite
  • Murder charges likely in hospital shooting

  • Police say a Massillon man accused of fatally shooting his 65-year-old wife Saturday at Akron General Medical Center likely will be charged with murder, but a decision is not expected until after the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office completes its investigation.

     

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  • Police say a Massillon man accused of fatally shooting his 65-year-old wife Saturday at Akron General Medical Center likely will be charged with murder, but a decision is not expected until after the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office completes its investigation.
    John Wise, 66, of 227 Hawthorne Ave. NE, currently is charged with one count of attempted aggravated murder stemming from the death of Barbara Wise, 65, his wife of 45 years. Akron police have custody of Wise, who was booked into the Summit County Jail on Monday evening.
    Wise could make his initial court appearance this morning in Akron Municipal Court in front of visiting Judge Marvin Shapiro. Wise will appear for his arraignment via a video feed from the jail.
    Massillon paramedics responded to the Wise home, a brick bungalow that the couple bought in 1989, at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 28 for a medical call, Fire Chief Thomas Burgasser said. A patient — he could not confirm whom due to privacy laws — was given advanced life support and taken to Affinity Medical Center. Advanced life support includes oxygen, a heart monitor and IV, he said.
    The incident may have been a mercy killing, police have said, given that Barbara Wise had been admitted to the Akron General Medical Center in critical condition. Craig Morgan, assistant prosecutor for the city of Akron, told the Associated Press on Monday that Barbara Wise was in an extremely disabled state.
    However, a clear motive has not been identified, according to police. The Medical Examiner’s Office is scheduled to conduct an autopsy this afternoon, an office spokeswoman said.
    “We anticipate that after the Medical Examiner’s Office completes its investigation that the charge more than likely would change to murder,” said Akron police Capt. Daniel Zampelli. “ ... We have enough to hold him on the attempted aggravated murder charge.”
    Once the investigation is completed, Zampelli said Akron police would have two options: elevate the charge against Wise to aggravated murder or present evidence in the case to a Summit County grand jury for an indictment.
    According to police, Wise shot his wife with a hand gun at 8:45 p.m. Saturday in the hospital’s intensive care unit. Barbara Wise was pronounced dead at 10:20 a.m. Sunday by the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office. Hospital officials say Barbara Wise was in critical condition at the hospital prior to the shooting, but have declined to say what she was being treated for. Wise surrendered following an immediate response by hospital security officers.
    Zampelli confirmed that a handgun was used during the incident, but declined to say how many shots were fired. Barbara Wise was struck by at least one bullet. Zampelli said Wise has been questioned about the incident.
    Akron General spokesman Jim Gosky said Wise was visiting his wife during normal visitation hours and called the shooting “virtually unpreventable.”
    Page 2 of 2 - “(Monday) we’re dealing with employees who went through it and reassuring people that this was a tragic but isolated incident,” Gosky said.
    Staff writer Matthew Rink contributed to this report.