Fbi Agent Surrenders On Charge He Shot His Wife

Posted: July 05, 1988

An FBI special agent from Bucks County, accused of shooting his estranged wife Sunday night near Pittsburgh, gave himself up yesterday, authorities said.

FBI agent Bruno Bonanotte, 29, of Bensalem, shot Debra Julian Bonanotte, 26, at 4:17 p.m. Sunday at her parents' home in Pleasant Hills, said Stanley Smith, police chief of Pleasant Hills.

The shooting happened 12 minutes after police had visited Debra Bonanotte to see whether she was safe. She had asked police earlier for protection from her husband, Smith said.

Debra Bonanotte remained in critical condition last night at Presbyterian University Hospital in Pittsburgh. She was being treated for a stomach wound, hospital officials said.

Smith said that Bruno Bonanotte called Pleasant Hills police several times Sunday night and early Monday, beginning about 9:30 p.m. "He talked about giving himself up," Smith said.

At 3 a.m. Bonanotte broke talks off, saying "he was tired and he wanted to get some sleep," Smith said. Pleasant Hills police did not know where the agent was staying, Smith said.

Then, about 10 a.m., police were able to determine that Bonanotte was staying at a friend's home in Northeast Philadelphia. Smith would not disclose how police had learned Bonanotte's location.

About 11:45 a.m. yesterday, a man who identified himself as FBI agent Robert Cordier called the Northeast detective bureau saying Bonanotte was staying in a house in the 7300 block of Roosevelt Boulevard and wanted to turn

himself in, according to Philadelphia police. It was not known last night whose home that was or in which FBI office Cordier works, police said.

Authorities took Bonanotte, who was not armed, into custody without incident and he later appeared before a bail commissioner, who set no bail. About 3:30 p.m., FBI agents left for Pleasant Hills with Bonanotte in custody on charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault.

At the time of the shooting, Debra Bonanotte had been in her parents' back yard, where friends and family were playing volleyball, Smith said.

The couple had had problems in May, Smith said, which prompted the wife to leave and move in with her parents. He said that Debra Bonanotte later decided to move back with her husband and that the couple had been visiting relatives during the holiday weekend.

The couple had a quarrel Saturday at another relative's home, Smith said. State police were called and Bruno Bonanotte was warned to stay away from his wife. When he returned, state police charged him with criminal trespass and contacted the Pittsburgh FBI office, Smith said.

Bonanotte surrendered his weapons to Pittsburgh FBI agents and was told to return to New Jersey to meet his supervisor.

Instead, Smith said, the husband went to his wife's parents' home.

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