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Police shot and killed a man as he was stabbing his wife with a kitchen knife in their Bronx apartment, a department spokesman said Saturday.

Officers went to the apartment in the Highbridge section shortly before midnight Friday to investigate reports of a family dispute, said Detective Walter Burns, police spokesman.

In a second-floor apartment on Sheridan Avenue, they found the man assaulting his wife with a knife, Burns said.

When the officers ordered him to lay down the weapon, he refused, and they sprayed tear gas at him, Burns said.

When he failed to stop, one officer fired a single shot, hitting the assailant in the chest.

The 43-year-old man was dead at the scene, and police recovered his weapon.

His 42-year-old wife was taken to Lincoln Hospital with two stab wounds in her chest and one on her ear, plus numerous hand wounds.

She was in serious but stable condition, Burns said.

The names of the husband and wife were not immediately released.

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