The Nassau County District Attorney's office has concluded that charges will not be presented to a grand jury against officers who fired weapons in last year's fatal police-involved shooting of a civilian in Massapequa Park and the "friendly fire" shooting that killed Officer Geoffrey Breitkopf minutes later.
DA Kathleen Rice issued a report on Tuesday saying the use of deadly force by the officers in the killing of Breitkopf and was justified.
"With respect to the shooting of Officer Breitkopf, the totality of the evidence supports the conclusion that this shooting, although indescribably tragic, was not unjustified as justification is defined by law," the report said.
Officers who responded to the scene outside DiGeronimo's home last March did not realize that Breitkopf, 40, a member of the Nassau County Police Department's elite Bureau of Special Operations, was a fellow cop.
According to the report, Breitkopf arrived at the scene in civilian clothes and carrying an assault rifle with a magazine and a shoulder strap.
"This investigation revealed that no one witnessed Officer Breitkopf identify himself as a police officer and no one recalled seeing his shield displayed," the report said.
Breitkopf was confronted by a colleague who tried to physically stop Breikopf from advancing.
Glen Gentile, thee officer who shot Breitkopf saw the "assault rifle was raised, and moving, so that it appeared that the rifle was pointing toward the officers involved in the struggle and others," the report said. "He perceived a deadly threat to the other officers and civilians present, and so he fired his weapon once. Officer Breitkopf was hit in the torso." Gentile is an MTA officer who responded to the scene with his partner.
Breitkopf died at Nassau University Medical Center.
The tragedy unfolded just minutes after the shooting of DiGeronimo, who police confronted after receiving reports about a suspicious knife-wielding man.
An officer who came to the scene, near the home, "repeatedly ordered DiGeronimo to drop his weapons, but DiGeronimo did not comply," according to the report.
Officers followed him inside the home, and DiGeronimo again refused to stop or respond to police orders.
Officers followed him inside and a standoff ensued as DiGeronimo retreated to a bedroom. Officers stayed on the other side of the hallway and ordered DiGeronimo to come out and drop the weapon.
"DiGeronimo then abruptly emerged from the room and marched aggressively toward the police, with his arms raised to his head while clutching a knife with the tip pointing upward," the report said.
Officers told prosecutors that he again ignored warnings before Officers Richard McDonald and Paul Lewis opened fire as DiGeronimo charged them.
"The totality of the evidence supports the conclusion that the shooting of Anthony DiGeronimo was legally justified," the report said. "While Officer McDonald and Officer Lewis intentionally used deadly physical force against DiGeronimo, each acted upon a reasonable belief that DiGeronimo was armed with knives and was about to use deadly physical force."
Rice added: “Officer Geoffrey Breitkopf was a dedicated police officer who honorably served his community, and on March 12, 2011 was a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who lost a loved one in this tragedy.”