James Gandolfini Shot By Closure-Seeking FanNEW YORK—Actor James Gandolfini, best known for his portrayal of mob kingpin Tony Soprano on the hit HBO show The Sopranos, was shot to death Tuesday in a Greenwich Village restaurant by a fan unable to accept the open-ended conclusion of the series finale that aired earlier this month.
According to police reports, 28-year-old marketing research assistant Louis Bowen walked into the small Italian restaurant Occhiuto's at approximately 7:40 p.m. and headed directly toward Gandolfini's table. Bowen then drew a snub-nosed .38 revolver from his jacket and shot Gandolfini point-blank in the head three times before dropping the gun and calmly exiting the eatery.
Bowen was apprehended two blocks away by two NYPD officers and reportedly put up no resistance.
"I couldn't let it just hang," Bowen told police in a post-arrest confession released to the media. "Eight years of my life, and a fucking artsy cut to black? It was eating me up inside."I had to tie up the loose ends, I just had to," Bowen said. "I'm positive this is exactly how [creator and executive producer] David Chase wanted fans to interpret the ending."
NYPD spokesman Charles Krann expressed regret over the Gandolfini slaying, saying that law enforcement "should have known this was coming," considering the heavy foreshadowing of impending doom in The Sopranos' final season and the lack of payoff.
"The symbolism and dialogue clearly conveyed an ominous sense of death and decay," Krann said. "Particularly the scene in the second-to-last episode where Tony and his brother-in-law talk about death. So for Bowen, murdering the actor brought a kind of justice."
"It probably would have all been different had there been a realistic chance of a Sopranos movie," Krann added.