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Bessemer police chief accidentally shot, killed while cleaning gun at home

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NEW CASTLE, Pa. - A Lawrence County police chief died Sunday after a gun went off at his house while he was cleaning it, according to state police.

Bessemer Borough Police Chief Thomas Edward Macri, 56, accidentally shot himself in the chest while cleaning a .40-caliber pistol.


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Police said he was home alone at the time. His girlfriend discovered him a short time later and called emergency services.

He was taken around 2:15 p.m. to Jameson Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Macri was a retired New Castle City policeman.

The investigation did not reveal any signs of foul play or suspicious activity.

Police departments and schools across Lawrence County flew flags at half-staff Monday in tribute to Macri, who served the community for more than 30 years.

New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem said he was a young patrolman when he met Macri, his mentor.

“He was a good man. He was a good police officer, dedicated and hard-working,” Salem said.

Macri spent 27 years on the Newcastle force as a patrolman, a narcotics agent and a lieutenant. 

Retired Union Police Chief Joe Lombardo worked on several undercover stings with Macri.

“It's just unimaginable,” Lombardo said. “I can't believe it. He was a good officer.”