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Alleged Newspaper Gunman Wounded

July 27, 1998

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) _ The man suspected of killing a newspaper executive with a shotgun was critically wounded Sunday in a shootout with police, the sheriff’s department said.

Nathan Hanna, who had been missing since the Thursday morning shooting in the offices of The Evening News, was caught around noon just outside the city, police said.

Two state police officers and a Chippewa County sheriff’s deputy were sent to the area after a resident reported seeing Hanna walk out of the woods carrying a shotgun, county spokesman Michael Hauxwell said.

Officers repeatedly ordered Hanna to drop his weapon, Hauxwell said. Hanna then fired once at the officers, who returned fire and hit Hanna in the abdomen, chest and leg. He was in stable but guarded condition at War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, a hospital supervisor said.

No officers were injured.

Rob Arbic, the man who alerted police, said he was standing on the porch at his father’s house when he saw a man walking across his brothers’ cow pasture.

``I thought it was a little unusual considering what happened at The Evening News the other day,″ he told radio station WSUE of Sault Ste. Marie. ``I got my binoculars, got a look at him and realized he matched the description of Mr. Hanna. I ran back into my folks’ house and dialed 911.″

Hanna, a 39-year-old carrier for The Evening News, was accused of shooting circulation manager Anthony Gillespie twice in the newspaper’s offices Thursday morning, and a homicide warrant was issued for him.

About 15 employees huddled inside for nearly five hours while police surrounded the building, thinking the gunman might be holding hostages. But the attacker apparently left shortly after the shooting.

Police have said the shooting was not work-related, but would not elaborate.

Evening News Editor Ken Fazzari said last week that Hanna entered the newspaper building through the front door about 9:30 a.m., went up a small stairway and encountered Gillespie just inside the business office.

Fazzari said he turned when the first shot rang out and saw Hanna pointing a shotgun at Gillespie. As a second shot was fired, Fazzari herded screaming colleagues toward a photo darkroom. Fazzari hid for a few moments under a desk, then escaped with a coworker after calling police.

Sault Ste. Marie, which has about 18,000 residents, is on Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula, about 350 miles north of Detroit on the Canadian border. The paper has a circulation of about 7,300 and has about 40 full-time employees.

Fazzari said the paper would resume publishing Tuesday after Gillespie’s funeral on Monday.

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