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Reports: ATF Agent May Have Been Killed by 'Friendly Fire' in Seaford Armed Robbery

Law-enforcement sources tell multiple media outlets bullet that fatally struck John Capano of Massapequa came from responding retired NCPD lieutenant.

The fatal shot that killed off-duty ATF agent John Capano during an of a Seaford pharmacy on New Year’s Eve may have come from "friendly fire," according to published reports.

Capano of Massapequa was picking up cancer medication at for his elderly father shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday when James McGoey of Hampton Bays entered the store demanding cash and drugs, prompting the ATF agent and two other men to confront the suspect as he fled out the front door. A shootout ensued and both Capano and McGoey were killed.

Law-enforcement sources told the New York Post and ABC News they believe the bullet that struck Capano came from the gun of retired Nassau County police Lt. Christopher Geraghty, 54. Geraghty had responded to the armed robbery along with off-duty New York City Police Officer Joseph Arbia, 29, of Seaford. Geraghty and Arbia had been having lunch at , located next door to Charlie’s Family Pharmacy, at the time of the armed robbery, published reports have stated.

A Nassau County Police Department spokeswoman did not confirm the media reports of how Capano was killed and said the investigation is continuing.

Capano, a graduate, was in his 24th year with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and assigned to the New York Field Division’s Long Island Field Office. He was a member of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) who had had taught U.S. military and local forces in Afghanistan and Iraq how to investigate blasts.

A funeral mass for Capano is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday at in Seaford followed by burial at St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale. A wake will be held at in Seaford on Wednesday and Thursday with visiting hours on both days  from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

David Rosenthal January 04, 2012 at 05:39 PM
This incident is very similar to the Massapequa Park incident in March 2011. I thought by now new protocol would have been in place so that this mystery possibly would not have occurred. As a long time resident of the Massapequa community I need an explaination. I feel Lt. Geraghty should come forward to make a statement to our community as to how this very unfortunate incident came about in his own words. Being the owner of the delicatessen, we want him to participate in a dialogue to possibly prevent this calamity from happening again. My heart goes out to the Capano family. I am so sorry this incident had happened.
Ralph Nesberino January 04, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I happen to agree that a public statement by Lt. Geraghty would be an important step in the healing process. I am sure many people are in wonderment why this happened. We need answers and some type of assurance this should not happen again. My condolences to the Capano family. Such a tragedy.
Lorraine DeVita January 05, 2012 at 06:39 PM
The whole situation is tragic & terribly sad for both the families involved. My heart goes out to the Capano family AND the Geraghty family. One family lost a wonderful husband and father and one has now to deal with the aftermath of a tragic accident. We should support BOTH the Capano & Geraghty families as both are suffering greatly.
Unjust August 22, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Well said... Speaking only for myself ... I'm Still waiting!
Unjust August 22, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Still waiting to hear from him. Given that it's now the end of Aug 2012 ... Its safe to say he's long overdue in reaching out. Speaking only for myself... I'd like him to look me in the eyes and explain his actions. I'm not sure if it would help the healing process... but again long overdue!

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