Attorney: ATF agents's death was "horrendous" accident

January 5, 2012 3:10:42 PM PST
We are learning more about the final and dramatic moments when an ATF agent was gunned down by friendly fire.

John Capano was killed New Year's Eve while trying to intervene in a robbery at a pharmacy in Seaford. A retired Nassau County cop, who was trying to help, fired the fatal shot. His attorney told his side of the story today.

"From the time my client's out there on the sideway, it's maybe 10 seconds then it's over," said Brian Davis, attorney.

10 seconds of chaos, that ended with a terrible mistake, and a desperate attempt to save a dying man.

"He immediately pulled his shirt up put pressure on the wound and held it there until the AMTs came," Davis said.

But it was too late for ATF agent John Capano.

The retired cop who shot him will now live with his actions for the rest of his life.

Former Nassau Police Lieutenant Chris Geraghty, whose lawyer Brian Davis, outlined the convoluted sequence of events that led to this.

"I don't think any amount of training could change how this happened. It just happened that way," Davis said.

Geraghty, who owns the deli three doors away, had heard of a robbery at the drug store. He got his weapon and along with a customer who also happened to be an off-duty cop, headed toward danger.

They found the off-duty Capano on the sidewalk, struggling with robber James McGoey for control of a gun.

As Geraghty tried to figure out who was the good guy, the gun turned toward him, and went off.

A bullet flew right past his head.

That's when he shot Capano.

That's also when McGoey, the accused bad guy, went for the gun.

"Starts to come up and at that point the New York City Police Officer shot him three times, and he probably saved my client's life," Davis said, "When it ends the pharmacist comes out and says, 'John, is John all right?' Indicating Agent Capano. And that's when my client realized that it was a Good Samaritan," Davis said.

Now the decorated former Nassau Police officer who retired just a few months ago, is said to be overwhelmed with guilt over his actions.

The agent's family has said they forgive Geraghty, but he may never forgive himself.

"He'll have his family and they'll have him, but he'll never put this aside. He'll never forget what happened that day," Davis said.

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

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