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ATF Blames 'Career Criminal' for John Capano's Shooting Death

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issues statement on New Year's Eve killing of its special agent in Seaford.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is blaming the of its agent John Capano on a “career criminal who chose to resume his life of crime” on that fateful New Year’s Eve afternoon.

Capano, a Massapequa resident and who served 23 years as an ATF agent, was killed trying to stop an of . While inside the Seaford pharmacy picking up cancer medication for his father, James McGoey of Hampton Bays entered the store demanding cash and drugs. Capano proceeded to confront the suspect as he fled out the front door before a retired cop and off-duty police officer also responded to the scene of the armed robbery.

Brian Davis, an attorney for retired Nassau County police Lt. Christopher Geraghty, 54, told the Associated Press that his client shot Capano as he and the suspect struggled for control of a weapon while unsure who was “the bad guy” and is “devastated" by what happened. Geraghty, of Woodbury, had responded to the scene along with off-duty New York City Police Officer Joseph Arbia of Seaford after being alerted about the armed robbery while eating at next door to the pharmacy.

The Bureau of ATF issued a statement on Capano’s death following the slain agent's Friday afternoon that drew an estimated 5,000 mourners.

“Ultimately the responsibility for the tragic events that occurred on December 31, 2011 lies with the career criminal who chose to resume his life of crime,” said Joseph Anarumo, the Bureau' of ATF’s special agent in charge of the New York field division. “As a result of his criminal actions three men, who were trained law enforcement officials, responded to a call of duty and rushed towards the danger, in order to protect the public.”

During remarks at Friday’s funeral service, Capano’s brother, James, asked people to offer prayers for those who responded to the shooting.

"Let us not forget others responded that day to stop a crime,” Capano said. “Please remember, they have family, and acted as John did.”

Mike Giardina January 09, 2012 at 03:30 PM
It's just a shame the way things went down. Senseless.


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