Tina Fineberg  /  AP
Seated in a wheelchair, Trent Benefield, center, holds the hands of his mother Tenise Ford, right, and his pregnant fiancee Nyla Page, second from left, on Tuesday. Benefield was wounded by police on Nov. 25 in a shooting that killed his friend.
updated 12/6/2006 7:45:39 AM ET 2006-12-06T12:45:39

One of two men wounded in a police shooting that left their friend dead hours before his wedding disputed a police account that a fourth person, possibly armed, fled the scene.

“No,” Trent Benefield told NY1 News. “No fourth man.”

Lawyers for Benefield, 23, and Joseph Guzman, 31, say both men also claim that none of the five undercover and plainclothes officers identified themselves as police before opening fire.

Sean Bell, 23, died after being hit in a torrent of bullets on Nov. 25, the morning he was to be married to his high school sweetheart, outside a Queens strip club.

Through his lawyer, the initial shooter has insisted he had his badge out and had identified himself when, believing Guzman was pulling a gun, he opened fire. He and other witnesses also have said there was a fourth man in or near the car who escaped on foot, possibly with a weapon.

Guzman, speaking from his bed at Mary Immaculate Hospital in Queens, told the New York Daily News that the officer “never” identified himself before firing the first bullet of a 50-shot fusillade. His lawyer also has said there was no fourth man in the car.

“I took 16 shots, but a superstar died that night,” Guzman told a Daily News reporter, referring to Bell. “I loved him.”

'We need justice'
Benefield, who was shot three times in the legs, was to be released from the hospital on Tuesday and meet with the Rev. Al Sharpton, according to Sharpton’s office.

“My friend’s dead,” Benefield said in the interview with NY1 News. “I’m shot up. We need justice.”

Police have said an undercover officer began following Bell and his friends to their car after overhearing Guzman threaten to retrieve a gun in a dispute with another man.

As the car started to pull away, it bumped the officer and then smashed into an unmarked police van, police said.

The five officers have been put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a grand jury investigation by the Queens district attorney’s office.

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