Former SOPRANOS actor Lillo Brancato Jr was shot and wounded in New York yesterday (11DEC05) during a gun battle that left a policeman dead.

Officer Daniel Enchautegui was shot in the chest when he tried to stop Brancato, 29, and accomplice Steven Armento from allegedly breaking into a house in search of drugs.

Enchautegui was shot in the chest, reportedly by Armento. As he was dying, the officer shot Brancato twice, leaving him in critical condition in hospital. Armento, who was shot four times, has also been hospitalised in a serious condition.

Colombian-born Brancato played small-time mobster MATT BEVILACQUA in the 1999-2000 series of The Sopranos. He has also appeared in A BRONX TALE alongside Robert De Niro.