ATF agent killed during robbery remembered

January 5, 2012 12:44:11 PM PST
A wake was held Wednesday for the ATF agent on Long Island who was shot and killed during a pharmacy robbery.

His colleagues remember John Capano as a hero.

"We have special agents. John was a very special agent," said Eric Immesberger, ATF agent.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has a very small presence on Long Island.

It's a tight knit group of just six agents working side by side for years, until last weekend, when John Capano put his life on the line.

Agent Eric Immesberger was his friend and his boss.

"I would just say this is the goal, this is what we need done, and it would get done," Immesberger said.

In 24 years with the ATF, Capano volunteered for dangerous assignments around the world, but it was in his neighborhood drug store where he lost his life.

On New Year's Eve police say career criminal James McGoey pulled a pellet gun and tried to rob the store of prescription pills.

Capano pulled out his own gun to try to stop the crime, but was himself shot by a retired officer who'd heard the commotion and mistook Capano for one of the robbers.

"John will be honored; he will be remembered as a hero," said Joseph Anarumo, ATF Agent in Charge.

Wednesday afternoon, two blocks from the spot where he died, Capano's family and friends filed into a funeral home to pay their respects.

"He has a son in college and a daughter in high school and you know they're not going to grow up with their dad," Anarumo said, "This stuff just doesn't go away. When you're gone you're gone forever."

It's a reality that's still sinking in for Capano's ATF colleagues who rushed to the hospital when they heard the news, but arrived too late to say good bye.

"John was already gone, but I can tell you that I held his shoulder and I promised him that we're going to take care of that family, and we're going to do that," Immesberger said.

Federal Drug Agents Foundation
380 North Broadway
Suite 203
Jericho, NY 11753

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