The man who shot and killed himself after a tense, four-hour standoff at Baystate Medical Center Tuesday night previously had a restraining order against him because of prior altercations with his wife, according to court documents.
Police had the hospital surrounded by 8 p.m. after they responded to reports of a man with a gun on the property. Upon arrival, they found Eddie Bonafe, 54, of West Springfield, sitting in his car with a gun to his head in the parking lot outside the emergency room.
It all stemmed from an argument between Bonafe and his wife inside their red Fiat vehicle in South Hadley. The argument continued in West Springfield where Bonafe allegedly shot his wife. Bonafe then drove her to the hospital. He pulled out his firearm when he was questioned about his wife's injury.
In 2010, Bonafe's wife received an emergency restraining order against him. On the restraining order form, which Bonafe's wife submitted in August 2010, she wrote that she did not know if (Eddie Bonafe) has guns, but he "does have a large machete knife in second drawer of bedroom, said he will use to kill me," according to documents filed in Springfield District Court.
West Springfield police arrested Bonafe that same day for violating the restraining order. In her handwritten narrative on the form, the wife, who at the time lived with Bonafe on Cook Street in West Springfield, wrote that they got into an argument the day before. Bonafe told her to get her things together and leave the home, according to court documents.
The following morning, as she got dressed, Bonafe threatened to "cut me in pieces," she wrote. Bonafe also threatened to kill her parents who live in Holyoke, the woman wrote, adding that Bonafe had been leaving nasty messages on her cell phone for about a year, according to court documents.
Bonafe was not present when District Court Judge John Payne issued the emergency restraining order, which was to expire two weeks later when an extension on the hearing was set to be held. In August 2010, Bonafe made a motion that he be allowed to remove his things from their Cook Street home, which the court then allowed.
In it Bonafe described that he pays the rent, lives on Social Security and that his wife has lots of family here but he doesn't. He also wrote that he is sick and "retaining water in my lungs."
The extension hearing for the emergency restraining order was moved to September 2010, but neither Bonafe nor his wife showed up that day so the restraining order was vacated, court documents state. At the time the restraining order was taken out, Bonafe was ordered to stay away from the home and his wife's place of work - a Holyoke nursing home.
The wife reported, however, that Bonafe came to the house and left two notes on the kitchen table while she was there and left.
After Bonafe's arrest for violating the restraining order, he pleaded not guilty and was released on $1,000 personal surety bond, court documents state. That criminal case was dismissed on Sept. 24, 2010, the same day the restraining order was vacated, when his wife asserted marital privilege, court documents state.
Information on whether Bonafe had a license to carry the gun that he used to shoot himself was not immediately available from Springfield or West Springfield police.
Editor's note: George Graham of The Springfield Republican contributed to this article.
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