Badge of Bravery awarded to fallen ATF agent

April 29, 2013 3:21:31 PM PDT
An ATF agent was honored for his bravery, he died trying to stop a deadly robbery at a pharmacy on Long Island.

Special Agent John Capano was killed by a retired Nassau County police officer in a tragic case of friendly fire.

"I think everyone here understands what a mixed bag of emotions it is to be presented with this," said Dori Capano, widow.

The past 16 months have been a roller coaster of emotions for Dori Capano, her son John, and daughter Natalie.

16 months ago their world changed.

"There are certain acts of bravery that go above and beyond," Rep. Peter King said.

Monday, Rep. Peter King presented the family of ATF Supervisory Special Agent John Capano with the Congressional Badge of Bravery after he gave his life protecting his neighborhood pharmacy, from a drug crazed robber.

"It's a great honor that we wish we didn't have to be here for. It's that simple. Miss him every day," said Maryellen Guerriero, the agent's sister.

Just a few hours before the dawn of 2012, Capano drove to Charlie's Family Pharmacy in Seaford to pick up medication for his ailing father, but interrupted a robbery in progress.

He found himself on the sidewalk along Merrick Road, in a struggle for his own gun with suspect James McGoey.

That's when a retired police lieutenant rushed to help, but mistakenly fired at the wrong man.

"John was a skilled trained individual he was a teacher an instructor. There's a tremendous amount to be learned about what happened," King said.

16 months later, it still feels like yesterday for this large but tight knit south shore family.

John Junior is considering a career in law enforcement.

Megan Cerullo is agent Capano's niece.

"What my uncle did is really just how he lived his life, for him it was ordinary, it was my uncle being my uncle. But for so many other people it was extraordinary. What he did was inspire people to, to be heroic," Megan Cerullo said.