Doctor: Man who shot, killed wife not 'malicious'

Doctor: Man who shot, killed wife not 'malicious'

POSTED: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 9:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 9:34pm

A doctor who said he walked in on a man moments after he shot his critically-ill wife inside a hospital, said the man was not "malicious."

Dr. Michael Passero was in the intensive care unit of Akron General Medical Center the night of Saturday, Aug. 4.

"Suddenly there was this popping sound. This weird single popping sound, and both myself and the nurses there were drawn to try and figure out where it was," Passero said.

Passero said he went into the room of Barbara Wise, 65, a critically ill patient. He says he saw her husband, John Wise, 65, sitting on the other side of his wife's bed. After a few moment of trying to figure out where in the room the noise came from, a nurse said 'He's got a gun,' Passero said.

"He then spoke to me and said and 'Please tell me that she's dead,' and I looked at her, and I spoke very quietly, and I said, I'm sorry, she's not dead," Passero said.

Passero said he told John Wise he could help save his wife, if he gave him the gun.

Instead, John Wise was trying to clear the gun, which had jammed, he said.

Then, Barbara Wise let out a loud gasping breath, Passero said.

"Mr. Wise was immediately drawn to that and said, 'Oh God, she's still alive. How can she still be alive?'"

The doctor says John Wise began to work more frantically to un-jam the gun.

"I said, 'Sir, please stop!' and he said, 'I'm not going to shoot you,' and I said, 'I believe you, but I can't help your wife until you put the gun down. I need you to put the gun on the ground'," Passero said.

As John Wise continued to try and clear the jammed gun, two hospital security guards came in the room and tackled him, Passero said.

The doctor and hospital staff began treating Barbara Wise.

She died two days later.

John Wise is charged with murder.

Police have said a 'mercy-killing' is a possible motive.

"My sense of the gentleman in the brief interaction I had with him this wasn't a malicious man. This wasn't, you know, all the things we hear in the news, he didn't come in with multiple weapons. He didn't seem to have plans to do other things. So, I don't know, but I don't think he was there to hurt anyone else," Passero said.

John Wise has not entered a plea yet, and he's due back in court August 22.

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