Long Island News

Witness disputes account of how ATF agent died

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

There are shocking new details in the fatal shooting of off-duty federal agent John Capano at a pharmacy in Seaford on Long Island.

A key witness disputed in great detail the original account of how Capano was shot and killed by a retired cop.

It all comes from an internal memo that inexplicably made its way onto the website of the Nassau County District Attorney's office.

The memo detailed an interview with the pharmacist who'd been robbed that day and directly contradicts the account of the retired cop who killed the ATF agent in a case of mistaken identity.

On New Year's Eve, ATF Agent John Capano stepped in to stop an armed robbery at Charlie's Family Pharmacy in Seaford.

He wound up in a scuffle with the robbery suspect, who somehow grabbed a hold of the agent's gun.

A retired Nassau Police Detective named Chris Geraghty heard about the robbery and ran up to intervene.

He was confronted by the sight of two men grappling over a gun, with no way to know who was who.

Geraghty's lawyer told Eyewitness News last month that his client identified himself as a police officer and then jumped in to grab the gun, when it was turned on him and then fired.

At that point, he had said his training kicked in and he returned fire, killing Capano.

But, in this document, the pharmacist in this case paints a much different story, telling investigators he was there when Geraghty jumped on the pile, according to the interview report "[Geraghty's] chest was on Capano's back, in an attempt to assist with the struggle. [Geraghty] displayed a revolver type handgun in his right hand. [The pharmacist] observed [Geraghty] take the revolver, put it to the back of Capano, and fire one round. [The pharmacist] did not hear Chris say anything. The first shot [The pharmacist] heard that day was the one [Geraghty] fired."

Geraghty's attorney told Eyewitness News late Wednesday evening that his client stands by his statement, that a shot was fired in his direction and that's why he returned fire.

Attorney Brian Davis released a statement saying: "It's not going to change anything my client has to say. This is DA's work product. They interview different witnesses and people see different things. This just creates a sideshow, when it should be the DA gathering facts, comparing evidence and making a decision."

Eyewitness News tried to get confirmation from the police or the DA's office on whether they actually found a slug from Capano's gun, but they would not answer that question.

The DA's office did release a statement saying: "A confidential internal memorandum from an ongoing investigation was mislabeled and placed on the District Attorney's web site in error. This interview represents just one of many perspectives of the Seaford tragedy and no conclusions should be drawn from it.

The District Attorney's Office is reviewing our electronic security procedures to prevent such accidental disclosures in the future."

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long island, police officer killed, police officer shot, police shooting, shooting, long island news
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