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N.Y. mayor meets with family of slain groom

Mayor Michael Bloomberg met Tuesday with the family of the man who was killed on his wedding day in a barrage of police gunfire as he left his bachelor party, and investigators questioned a third civilian witness.

Three days after the fatal encounter, it remained unclear why five police officers opened fire while conducting an undercover operation at a strip club.

The unidentified witness was on a darkened block in Queens when five officers killed 23-year-old Sean Bell and injured two friends as the three sat in a car, officials said. There are two other civilian witnesses.

Bell was a nephew of University of Miami basketball coach Frank Haith.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg went to the Bell family's Queens church, where he met with the parents and fiancee of the victim, along with the Rev. Al Sharpton. He then met with about 50 community leaders.

The mayor held a similar meeting Monday in which he said officers appeared to use "excessive force." He stood by his comments Tuesday. "I used the word 'excessive.' ...That was my personal opinion. It may turn out to be that it was not excessive."

Some have questioned whether the shooting was racially motivated because the victims were all black men. The five officers who fired their guns were two blacks, two whites and one Hispanic.

The wounded were Joseph Guzman, 31, and Trent Benefield, 23. Guzman was in critical condition and Benefield stable condition on Monday.

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