Pharmacy robber, federal agent shot dead in NY
NEW YORK (AP) – 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.”
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Pharmacy robber, federal agent shot dead in NY
First and foremost, I want to express my sympathies to the family of BATF Agent John Capano on the loss of a husband and father. It appears that he went down doing the job he was intended to do, and served this nation well. My most sincere condolences.
Now I have to wonder about the *details* of this shooting and death of John Capano, and the fact that there was an off-duty city police officer and a retired police officer on the scene along with Capano. That’s a lot of Law Enforcement experience that just happened to be in one place at a crucial moment in time, and I have to wonder how that coincidence came to be?
I am not about to even remotely assign ANY blame to the officers, but I do indeed wonder if the off duty officer and the retired officer were armed, you see, the state of New York has some of the most prohibitive gun laws in the nation. New York City is even more of a pain where guns are concerned, but we all know, gun laws only apply to citizens that want to carry a gun legally, and for legitimate purposes.
For those not familiar, this incident happened on Long Island, in the town of Seaford.
Possession – Handguns
A license is needed to possess a handgun in one’s home or place of business. Application is made to the licensing officer of the city or county where the applicant resides, is principally employed, or where his principal place of business as a merchant or storekeeper is located. An alien may obtain a pistol license if he or she meets these requirements. The determination whether to grant the license is completely within the discretion of the licensing officer. However, the licensing officer must state specifically and concisely in writing the reasons for a denial. A denial can only be overturned in court if the denial is shown to be arbitrary and capricious. SOURCE
Those laws are for New York state in general, but know this, New York City considers itself to be a whole different world where guns are concerned.
I have been told, by a person with 1st hand knowledge, even a New York State Trooper doesn’t have a right to carry off duty in NYC. I don’t know how, or IF this even applies to Long Island or the state of New York as a whole or to Seaford in particular, all I know is that an HONEST citizen doesn’t have a chance in the state of New York, and the bad guys don’t care about the law anyway.
I am certain of this, a FEDERAL officer is not impeded by the ridiculous gun laws of the state of New York, a Federal officer or agent can carry at all times, and is, by rule of most agencies, expected to carry at all times.
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.
Off duty officers are expected to become involved in stopping a felony act in progress, but make NO mistake, an off duty officer, or an officer working in *plain clothes* faces a set of circumstances that a uniformed officer doesn’t face.
The stats contained in these next few paragraphs give me some serious concern.
In May, a New York Police Department officer shot to death an off-duty colleague who was carrying a gun while chasing a suspected car thief in East Harlem.
In March, an off-duty transit authority officer shot a Nassau County 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.
It is very easy for uniformed officers to mistake an off duty or plain clothes officer for a bad guy in a heated confrontation. Maybe they don’t see a badge, maybe in the heat of the moment the officer in plain clothes hasn’t had time to present a badge, any number of sad and dangerous circumstances can happen.
I have a close friend that is an officer and he was involved in a shooting incident a while back in a narcotics arrest that went SOUTH.
The druggie decided he was going to rob what HE thought was another druggie, the only catch was, the guy he was going to rob is a sworn officer, and in an act of desperation, and in an exhibition of what intense training and skill can do, my friend fell to the left as he drew a concealed .357 and fired ONE SHOT, upside down and backwards, and the shot forever ended the career of a bad guy.
Happy ending … right? Not so much maybe.
If I didn’t KNOW that my friend is what he is, I wouldn’t *make* him for a cop, and I am dammed good at spotting cops. You see, the way he dresses, the vehicle he drives, his hair, his beard, his mannerisms and his on-duty persona make him look like the guy you’d want to question if he were in the area of a crime.
Long story short, my friend calls for backup, shots fired, officer involved, all that stuff, and as the marked units are rolling up he’s jumping up and down, waving his badge and ID, yelling *I’M A COP, I’M A COP!!!”, no point in having some over-zealous uniform ruin your day for you.
Being an officer of the law is NEVER an easy job, it is always fraught with danger, but for an off duty officer that has to get involved in a felony arrest, or a detective, undercover or plain clothes officer, the dangers are greatly multiplied in shooting situations.
I sincerely hope there were no mistakes made in this one, I will try to follow up IF and when more information becomes available.