Memo Gives Different Version of ATF Agent's Shooting Death in Seaford

Document accidently posted on Nassau D.A's gives details from pharmacist at scene of attempted armed robbery that led to friendly fire killing of ATF agent John Capano.

A memo that was accidently posted on the Nassau County District Attorney’s office website before being removed provides a new version of events that led to the friendly fire killing of during an of in Seaford on New Year's Eve.

The document, which was provided to Patch, contained details given by a pharmacist at the store that said retired Nassau County police Lt. Christopher Geraghty of Woodbury shot once without warning during a skirmish on the ground between Capano and the robbery suspect James McGoey of Hampton Bays. The shot proceeded to strike and kill Capano, a Massapequa resident and who was at pharmacy picking up cancer medication for his father.

The pharmacist’s statement in the memo differs from what Geraghty’s attorney Brian Davis told the Associated Press last month about his client shooting Capano as he and the suspect struggled for control of a weapon while unsure who was “the bad guy.” A redacted version of the memo with the names of those involved blocked out was posted Wednesday on the 1010 WINS Radio website and can be found by clicking here.

In response to the memo, Davis told Newsday that witnesses having differing accounts of what happened in a crime are not unusual.

"In the heat of battle, people see different things in different ways," Davis said.  

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued a statment last month blaming the shooting death of Capano on a “career criminal who chose to resume his life of crime” on that fateful New Year’s Eve afternoon.

Prior to being gunned down during the New Year’s Eve Seaford armed robbery, Capano was in his 24th year as an ATF agent and assigned to the New York Field Division’s Long Island Field Office in Melville. 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.

Jami M Aharner February 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Why do retired officers of any type or rank still allowed ton have weapons anyway? Statistics show 18% to 26% of all violent crimes involving guns are caused by past retired or dismissed officers whom did not turn their weapons in!
Ralph Nesberino February 10, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Why did the retired Lt. dive into a fight when he wasn't sure who was the good guy and the bad guy. When did the Lt. have any live experience in an altercation with a gun before this incident or was he a deskbound police officer when on the job?


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