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A man shot and killed a friend he erroneously thought was having

December 29, 1986

NEW YORK (AP) _ A man shot and killed a friend he erroneously thought was having an affair with his wife, called the woman to tell her what he’d done and then killed himself today, police say.

A police spokeswoman had earlier reported that the couple was divorced and the victim was the woman’s live-in boyfriend, but a detective investigating the case said later that was not so.

The shootings began as Gregory Bilges, 35, of Queens, was walking his dog in the Woodhaven section, said the spokeswoman, Officer Janice Swinney.

Michael Cassano, 39, also of Queens, approached Bilges, shot him five times with a .22 caliber rifle and fled, said Swinney.

Bilges was found face down on the street between two parked cars, she said.

Detective John Phili of the 102nd Precinct said Cassano, who had been separated from his wife for four months, erroneously believed that his wife and Bilges were having an affair. Bilges, who also was married, lived down the street from the Cassanos and the two couples had gone out occasionally.

After Cassano shot Bilges, he called his wife, Adel, and told her he had just killed his friend and planned to kill himself, according to the spokeswoman.

A short time later, on a streetcorner about 10 blocks from the first shooting, Cassano fatally shot himself in the face. The rifle was recovered at the scene, Swinney said.

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