DA: No Charges in Massapequa Park Shootings

Officers involved in civilian shooting and friendly-fire death of police officer did not break law.

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.”

Ed February 28, 2012 at 11:37 PM
This shooting of the officer was definitely a tragedy. The report fails to mention the role of the retired NYC police officer that was there at the time. Initial reports indicated that he was the one who yelled "gun" , which led to the shooting.
tj February 29, 2012 at 01:12 AM
whats with Massapequa lately with shootings and guns...This young kid is dead..Cop dead...Pharmacy DEA dead and suspect shot and killed...kid arrested a few months ago for going around shooting what? stop signs from his car...Now kids go around shooting out car windows... There might be a problem starting...
HTT February 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM
t. March 02, 2012 at 03:16 AM
u no what that really upsets me that kids was my friend and yes he had a few problems but we liked the paranormal and going to concerts together but what i'm saying he DID NOT NEED TO BE SHOT maybe tazerd but not shot or pepper spray so honestly the police are stubborn and can idiots at times and this is one of them aka RIP Anthony my man /,,/
Massa March 07, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Hey t. , you need look at the officers who had a young man who had a large knife raised above his head charging down a small hallway at them.Put yourself in their shoes, are you going to get stabbed/ hacked by someone who has problems? Someone who was running down the street jumping on an old womans car.Officers wear bullet proof vests that are not slash or stb proof. Officers are trained to shoot center mass to stop the threat, and he was a majr threat with a very large weapon.He was the reason the police were there, so next time you right something, think about what you would do. Maybe your the idiot who should have helped your friend who had problems, or said something to his parents.
A.ok May 09, 2012 at 09:30 PM
A.ok Beleive it or not we are all taught that We as americans live in a free country where every man or women should be able to live despite having a paranormal interests or be a weapons collector or what have you. And if you want to stand in the way of people's rights who are you really ... maybe just another trigger happy cop steriotyping our youth or anyone who is a little bit different for that matter. I knew Anthony personally and he didn't need help. He justhad a different View Point just like you and me.
Jh May 14, 2012 at 08:04 PM
This is ridiculous!
Jh May 14, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I'm a 23 year old girl who grew up being tOld that cops are heroes, to trust cops, call them and they'll help any situation... Now how do you expect me to believe what I was brought up on when this happens? When a cop on duty is having sex and not patrolling? Obviously there's somethig wrong here. I believe there was no reason for that many cops to shoot a kid who was suposely armed with a knife... That's some bull. You could of easily had one officer take him down by tazing or even shooting anthonys foot or leg. And as for the officer shot outside well the idiot who supposedly yelled whatever out should be in big trouble and paying for his mistakes. And the idiot who shot him shouldn't be a cop anymore, he should be ashamed of himself. I will never trust a cop. I will never ask a cop for help. God forbid I needed helP, the 7th will be the last I'd call. If one cop could lie about having sex while on duty and hide that... What else do you think these cops are hiding??? Absolutely ridiculous. Massapequa needs real heroes. We need cops out there who will protect us!
Massa May 14, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Hh, I agree with some things that you are saying, but not all. If you were never a cop you can't understand what is like to have someone charge at you with a weapon, you have to make a quick decision, and like I said in my last post, cops are trained to take down and shot center mass and take down the treat.People forget that cops are people to, and they want to go home to their families at the end of the day. As for what you are saying about Nassau's 7th precinct, I really can't argue with you their, the officer who should have been patrolling should be ashamed and locked up. The Nassau 7th get away with way to much, and then complaint that they want a raise. I don't feel safe with them protecting me or my family. The Department as a whole needs to be restructured starting with rollcalls at the precincts and more supervisors watching what is going on and no more hanging out in the firehouses or hiding behind the stores. They disrespect everyone who they serve when they do these things. I think the new commissioner with make things better, they need to shape up or get off the job.
Jh May 15, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Right there they wanna get home to their families is basically saying theyll shoot whoever to just end what's going on No reason why 6 shots were fired and put into anthonys body that's ridiculous I hear you out on everything else But Anthony and his family deserve justice
Massa May 15, 2012 at 06:43 PM
No they don't. Why did Anthony have all those weapons in his house. I have teenage kids and I know what is in my house. Bad parenting is also a issue here. What did they do to stop their kid from running around with knifes and scaring old ladies and some of the people in Johnny Mcgorreys pub. I know people who were in the pub , so this did happen.It is sad that he died at such a young age, but he had problems and you know it. It isn't like the moves when they shoot someone in the leg, those houses are small and he was running down a small hallway with a knife raised ready to hurt someone, so who the hell are you to say something about that. You weren't there.Your an idiot if you ever think a cop wants to shoot someone, your just a cop hater, and I hope when you need one someday that they are there for you and put you in yor place. What if it was your family member who was being scared to death by some crazy person with a knife? What if your Dad or Mom was one of the police officers? Then you would be on the other side, think about that.
Jh May 18, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Im sorry to say this, but if you think you know everything that YOUR teenagers haev in your house and you think that you know everything you do, yoru wrong. because in this day and age, you have NO idea what your child really does and is doing... believe me, i wasnt a teenager too long ago. I remeber friends parents trying to cradle their children and be on top of them, parents really dont know anything, even when they do. but besides that...... i have family that are cops in nassau, and suffolk and a friend whose a cop in the city.... And they mostly agree with how I think... and they laugh about how stupid the 7th is... so the 7th prec is looked at like a JOKE. Im not a cop hater. You have no idea who I am, where I come from... and YOU have NO idea what happened that night obviously, ebcause all you believe is what the cops reported, FALSELY. but im not going to sit here and fight with a complete stranger over the computer because thats just pointless on someone whose one minded. so have a great night.
Massa May 19, 2012 at 01:12 AM
You are wrong, because I do know what is going on in my house and in my kids lives, because I talk to them and am around to be in their lives, my head isn't up my ass like half the parents in the area. I don't care if you were a teenager not to long ago and what you hid from your parents. I hope your not a cop hater because of some lazy 7thpct cops. I hope you still respect the good cops that take an oath and put their lives on the line for everyone. I do agree and have stated on here many times that the Nassau 7th is a joke and get away with way to much. I do believe that the new Commisinor in Nassau and former chief in NYC and Nassau resident will make things better and weed out the garbage on the job.
Chris Spencer June 02, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Just wish they didn't run into the house. They had to know that this guy was a little mentally un-stable. Theyre's alot of "what ifs" going back and forth. They had to realize that the suspect was very mentally ill, and that he might have been on drugs. But let him baracade inside his room, in the mean time cops can call that special tactical unit or S.W.A.T. (I know-I know, we don't have S.W.A.T.) but theyre's a unit out there for this type of situation. Why follow a suspect wielding knives in that crazy black costume who is clearly not mentally stable into his house, and force themselves into a tiny hallway? They chased him, the cops put themselves in harmsway. I don't know if they were maintaining radio contact at the time, but their supervisor should have told him ok lay back and wait for cover, just form a perimeter till the STU arrives.
Chris Spencer June 02, 2012 at 04:52 AM
We will slowly calm him down and have him come out. They didn't even have to negotiate, his parents weren't hostages, he wasn't attacking them, they were begging not to shoot him. "but if you are a trained police officer and told to shoot at center mass to stop the target"- your acting like there freaking robots. Easily avoidable by establishing a perimeter, do not follow a suspect who has weopens, and is mentally unstable ALL-TOGETHER. At that point your putting yourself in danger. Hmmm I think most "trained cops" would know how to handle this.
Chris Spencer June 02, 2012 at 04:53 AM
They do, but lately they are having trouble and not going by there training, they're going by a random guy with the authority to shoot and kill someone legally. It's a same this kid had to die, and than another officer's life was taken too. For what I heard he was shot in the head. That's not center-mass? I would like to become a cop in the 8th precinct, I'm scared for the younger kids who drink at sumps everyday,
Chris Spencer June 02, 2012 at 04:58 AM
One day a kids going to get shot because the cop saw a reflection from his flashlight to the kids beer can, and say ah crap simple mistake. You got one guy blowing his brains out in Levittown, a guy in east meadow dropping tickets for hot girls so that they can call him,cop having an affair on the tax-payers time, a kid shot to death in front of his own mom and dad, an unsolved murder of Kieran, and all these kids with drug problems. Don't even talk about parenthood. These days, with everything they have now, kids are playing Xbox live when there 7 and have a whole dictionary full of curse words, role models like these rapping gangsters talking about cocaine, gang banging, shootings and money. You have no idea. I heard something like rainbow parties between these little kids at like 6th grade, it's un-believable. So the kid liked knives, and jumped onto a grandmas car, still should have waiting for a special unit. You can't even run into that house without thinking "crap, stuff is going to go down when he opens up that door". Let me correct themselves, "crap, stuff is going to go down when he opens up that door, let's fall back and wait for back up, take the second parties out of the house, and have it cleared.


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