Federal agent shot outside Long Island pharmacy was buying cancer medicine for dad, died foiling robberyBY Jennifer H. Cunningham & Barry Paddock
January 1, 2012
The federal agent gunned down outside a Long Island pharmacy was buying cancer medicine for his father when he died foiling a robbery, relatives said.
“He never walked away from anything,” said James Capano, 82, the father of John Capano, 51, an explosives expert with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives killed Saturday. “He always got involved.”
“I don't know where he gets it from,” added James Capano, a retired NYPD detective. “They say he got it from me.”
John Capano was shopping at Charlie’s Family Pharmacy in Seaford Saturday afternoon when the store was held up at gunpoint by a 40-year-old local man whose name has not been released.
“I was going down to the store,” the elder Capano said. “He said, ‘No, I’ll go.’”
“I should have gone,” he added. “I’m just trying to accept it."
John Capano confronted the thief, who was carrying stolen cash and OxyContin, outside the pharmacy.
Meanwhile, someone ran for help to the deli next door, and an off-duty NYPD cop and retired Nassau County lieutenant jumped into the action.
John Capano was shot in the mayhem. The robber then pointed his gun at the cop and retired lieutenant, sources said, and was fatally shot by one of them.
The names of the off-duty cop and retired lieutenant have not been released. They were uninjured but treated at a local hospital for trauma, officials said.
Investigators have been working to determine who fired the shot that killed Capano.
“I have no idea,” James Capano said of the identity of his son’s shooter.
James Capano had planned to celebrate New Year’s Eve at his son’s house.
The family is grieving the death of James Capano’s wife of 57 years, Helen Capano, mother of John Capano. She died of cancer on Dec. 18.
James Capano said his son had volunteered to share his explosives expertise with military personnel in Iraq.
“He knew what he was doing, and he was the best one they had,” James Capano proudly said.
A tearful Rep. Peter King consoled the elder Capano on the blood-stained sidewalk outside the pharmacy New Year’s morning.
King’s wife was slain agent’s fourth grade teacher.
“I’ve known John Capano for years,” King said, recalling giving Capano an award for bravery during a four-month tour of Iraq and Afghanistan
“He had a unique personality, a great personality,” King said. “Everybody loved him.”
King refused to speculate on how John Capano was killed.
“Unfortunately, I know all the people involved,” King said. “Let’s wait for it all to come out.”