Sunday, January 1, 2012

One of the Last Law Enforcement Officers to Die From Gun Violence in 2011

I pray that this is the last one of these we read about for a while, that there is some brief quiet period for the first week or two of 2012. But I won't hold my breath for that to be the case.

If you look at the section of the article which I emphasized, it goes to underline how very difficult it can be even for trained law enforcement officers to correctly identify who to shoot and who not to shoot; who the bad guy is and who the good guy is.

Of course, the gun nuts are in perpetual denial about that. They get positively hysterical over admitting that it is not easy, and they will not be infallible if they find themselves in a shooting situation. They add to the difficulties of law enforcement in confronting crime, they do not help

From and the AP :

Pharmacy robber, federal agent shot dead in NY 

updated 2 hours 33 minutes ago
An off-duty federal law enforcement agent who happened to be in a pharmacy during a holdup confronted the robber as he tried to leave with money and painkillers, and both were shot to death.
The off-duty Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent died after being taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound Saturday, Nassau County police Lt. Kevin Smith said.
Police said the gunman entered the pharmacy in Seaford about 2 p.m., looking for painkillers and money, and announced a holdup. As he tried to leave with what he came for, three people confronted him: the ATF agent, an off-duty city police officer and a retired police officer.
It wasn't clear what happened next or who shot either man. The off-duty police officer and the retired officer were taken to a hospital to be treated for trauma.
The agent, identified by the ATF as 51-year-old John Capano, a 23-year veteran of the agency, was a trained explosives expert who taught U.S. military and local forces in Afghanistan and Iraq how to investigate blasts, said Rory O'Connor, assistant special agent in charge in the ATF's New York office,.
"He was a veteran agent who did his job well," O'Connor said. "Even though off-duty, he felt the need to take action in an attempt to protect the public."
He lived in Massapequa and was married with two children.
The area has been struggling with a growing tide of prescription drug abuse, said Razov Felice, owner of an Italian restaurant down the street.
"There is a lot of problem in Long Island with these drugs," Felice said. "I don't know what people are thinking. The more people talk about these drugs, the more people are trying them."
Armed robberies at pharmacies in the U.S. rose 81 percent between 2006 and 2010, from 380 to 686, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. On Father's Day, four people were gunned down by a drug addict during a pharmacy robbery about 30 miles west of the one in Seaford where Capano was killed.
His death is the latest in a string of shootings of off-duty officers in the New York area who were responding to a crime.
In March, an off-duty transit authority officer shot a Nassau Cy police officer who was in plainclothes and carrying a rifle while both men were responding to a crime in the town of Massapequa Park.
And in 2008, Westchester County police officers killed an off-duty officer from suburban Mount Vernon while he intervened in a fight.

Paul Mazza  /  AP
ADDS SENTENCE ABOUT AGENT KILLED - A sheet stretched across a sidewalk obscures the body of a man who shot and killed after robbing Charlie’s Family Pharmacy in Seaford, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. Nassau County police said the unidentified man entered the pharmacy and announced a robbery, then exited with cash and drugs. Three people intervened as the man left the shop, police said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives identified the fallen agent as 51-year-old John Capano, a 23-year veteran of the agency. (AP Photo/Paul Mazza)


  1. The way local news sources are reporting the story (as relayed on a Long Island gun forum) is that a man robbed the pharmacy at gun point. An off duty police officer and a retired police officer confronted the robber and the off duty police officer shot and killed the suspect. Two ATF agents that had been in a diner next door responded with drawn guns and one of the agents was shot by the retired police officer. He later died at the hospital. It was also stated that the slain agent's little boy was with him.

    I of course have no way of knowing what happened but that is what was told by witnesses and local news accounts.

    It is certainly tragic that a Federal police officer had to loose his life in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity or a nervous reaction by one or more law enforcement officers. I certainly hope the tale about the little boy in tow is not true.

  2. I just saw a release from the ATF. It said that unarmed Agent Capano struggled with the suspect for control of the weapon and was shot during the altercation. He later died of his wound at the hospital. An off duty policeman, aided by a retired officer killed the armed suspect.