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Winchester man dies in double shooting

Brother wounded; police make arrest

Winchester police said yesterday that Bryan Barbaro was able to call 911 after being shot in the chest in his Irving Street home. Winchester police said yesterday that Bryan Barbaro was able to call 911 after being shot in the chest in his Irving Street home. (BILL RYERSON FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE)

WINCHESTER - To neighbors, Chris and Bryan Barbaro were part of the fabric of their peaceful dead-end street lined with single and multifamily houses where residents have lived for generations.

Yesterday, neighbors were wondering why the two brothers had been shot, one fatally, inside their home on Irving Street, the same street where their parents and a sister live and where the two men were raised.

"It just blows me away," said next-door neighbor Leo Lepore. "This is crazy."

Late yesterday afternoon, Wally J. Simon, 30, of Medford was arrested in the case. Police said he kicked in the door of the Barbaros' three-family home and shot 48-year-old Bryan Barbaro in the chest, a wound he survived after being rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Simon was not charged in the death of Chris Barbaro, 50, who Assistant District Attorney Nathaniel Yeager said was killed by a gunshot to the forehead.

"The door to 70 Irving Street was kicked in," Yeager said in court, "and Chris and Bryan Barbaro were shot at that time."

Despite being wounded, Bryan Barbaro was able to call 911 and report that both he and his brother had been shot, officials said.

Corey Welford, a spokesman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr., said that the investigation was ongoing and that more charges against Simon were possible.

Prosecutors persuaded Judge Marianne Hinkle to impound the case file, and Yeager did not offer a motive for the killing, the first in this town since Susann Wyler was slain in her home in October 2002. Her killing remains unsolved.

In a statement, Winchester police tried to calm public concerns following the shootings. "We do not feel that this was a random attack, and the safety of the community is not at risk," police said.

During his arraignment, Simon wore a powder-blue disposable jumpsuit because authorities apparently had seized his clothes. He appeared calm and occasionally looked at the people sitting in the courtroom.

Welford said Simon was taken into custody in Boston. He was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail, and his bail in a Middlesex Superior Court case was revoked. Simon is facing seven charges, including two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

In the Barbaros' neighborhood, the bachelor brothers were known for their willingness to help out. Bryan Barbaro operates a mason and chimney sweep company from his home. Chris occasionally worked for his brother, neighbors said.

Neighbors also said they could not imagine why anyone would shoot either brother.

"It was a complete shock," said Joe Capone, 52, who grew up with the Barbaro brothers. "I don't see why anything that drastic had to happen. . . . They wouldn't hurt a fly."

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