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Friendly Fire May Have Killed FBI Agent

An FBI agent was killed as agents closed in on three suspected bank robbers, and may have been shot accidentally by a fellow agent, the agency said.

Special Agent Barry Lee Bush, assigned to the FBI's Newark office, was shot Thursday as a stakeout team opened fire on the three armed men in two vehicles outside a PNC Bank branch on Route 22.

"Preliminarily, information suggests the agent may have been fatally wounded as a result of the accidental discharge of another agent's weapon during a dynamic arrest situation," the FBI said in a statement Thursday night.

Bush is the 51st agent killed in the line of duty, CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reported.

Meanwhile, New Jersey State police captured a third bank robbery suspect Friday connected to the deadly shooting of an FBI agent who had been tracking the men.

The agent's team fired on the armed suspects outside a bank branch in Readington on Thursday and two of the robbery suspects were captured shortly after the shooting. The third, Francisco Herrera-Genao, fled on foot and was arrested Friday morning in Branchburg, within a couple miles of the bank, State Police Lt. Gerald Lewis said.

Some 300 officers had been searching for Herrera-Genao, 22, of New Brunswick since the shooting. A Somerset County 911 dispatcher said authorities were tipped off Friday morning by a resident who saw someone matching the man's description.

Beverly Hardon was leaving her driveway for work when a man began banging on her car, she told WNBC-TV New York, her voice quivering as she spoke.

"He started hitting on my window, trying to get in my car," Hardon said. "I went so fast up that driveway."

Herrera-Genao begged a state trooper to shoot and kill him as he was captured Friday morning, police said.


"Just shoot me. Just kill me," a shoeless, shirtless Francisco Herrera-Genao told the trooper, who approached the suspect with his gun drawn, State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes said.

Authorities believe Herrera-Genao, who was covered in mud and twigs when found, spent the night hiding in the woods. Following the tip, police used a canine unit to track the suspect and "flushed him out of the woods into the waiting arms of police," Lewis said.

He said Herrera-Genao surrendered without incident, wearing only a T-shirt and a pair of sweat pants; he was not wearing shoes or other clothing.

"He was pretty cold, and I'm sure that had something to do with it," Lewis said of Herrera-Genao's compliant surrender.

Herrera-Genao was initially taken to a nearby state police barracks, then placed in a caravan of law enforcement vehicles and moved to FBI headquarters in Newark, where he was to be questioned.

The dead agent, Barry Lee Bush, 52, had been assigned to the FBI's Newark office and had been searching for suspects believed to be responsible for at least four bank robberies, the FBI said.

In three of the robberies, shots were fired. Recently, law enforcement sources say, the suspects brought more than 100 rounds of ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles and a .38 caliber handgun, Orr reported.

Pedro Ruiz, special agent in charge of the FBI's Newark office, said the suspects captured Thursday had two assault rifles and a handgun with them but didn't fire when Bush and the other agents confronted them outside a PNC Bank branch.

Investigators from the agency's Inspection Division have been assigned to investigate the shooting, the FBI said. Ruiz said he did not yet know how many shots were fired and would not elaborate on what led the agents to shoot.

The men arrested outside the Readington bank in north-central New Jersey were identified as Wilfredo Berrios, 28, and Michael Cruz, 21, both of New Brunswick. Both were to be charged with attempted armed robbery, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark said.

The FBI had started investigating Berrios, Cruz and Herrera-Genao after a March 2 bank robbery. A surveillance camera at a shopping center caught the masked gunmen abandoning a stolen Honda they had used in the robbery and getting into their "switch car," a rental vehicle that was traced to Berrios, according to the criminal complaint released by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

After his arrest, Cruz said the men were preparing to rob the Readington bank, according to the complaint. Cruz also said he, Berrios, Herrera-Genao and Efrain Lynn, 21, of New Brunswick, had robbed a bank in South Brunswick on March 16, the complaint said.

Lynn was arrested Thursday on a warrant unrelated to the bank robberies, federal prosecutors said.

It was not immediately clear if the men had attorneys who could comment. Telephone listings for the men could not be located.

Witnesses in Readington described a chaotic scene as the gunfire broke out Thursday.

Brian Agans, who works in an engine shop across from the bank, said he heard a "pop, pop, pop." He ran outside to make sure a mechanic wasn't having a problem with equipment, but instead saw law enforcement swarming.

"All hell was breaking loose. I've never seen so many police and authorities take action ever in my life," he said.

Bush joined the FBI in August of 1987, serving in Kansas City and transferring to Newark in 1991. He is survived by a wife and two grown children, the FBI said.