Slain ATF agent's death still 'devastating'

A year hasn't erased the pain of losing

A year hasn't erased the pain of losing U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Senior Special Agent John F. Capano, said his colleague and friend Eric Immesberger. (Credit: Handout)

Fresh flowers adorned a small tree Monday outside the Seaford pharmacy where an off-duty federal agent was killed on New Year's Eve 2011 during a botched robbery.

A year hasn't erased the pain of losing U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Senior Special Agent John F. Capano, said his colleague and friend Eric Immesberger, head of the Long Island office in Melville.

"It was the most devastating of losses and continues to be that for all of us," Immesberger said. He said Capano's widow, Dori, and the couple's two children, John and Natalie, planned a private memorial. The family declined to be interviewed.

"Our number one focus is on the well-being of his wife and children," Immesberger said.

Capano, 51, of Massapequa was filling a prescription for his father a year ago Monday at Charlie's Family Pharmacy in Seaford when he realized a robbery was under way. The 23-year ATF veteran succeeded in thwarting the robbery, however, he was shot in a friendly fire incident by a retired Nassau police lieutenant who was next door at a diner and had been notified a robbery was taking place. Capano was shot as he struggled with robbery suspect James McGoey just outside the pharmacy.

An off-duty New York City police officer who also was at the diner and heard of the robbery in progress fatally shot McGoey.

All four men had weapons, though McGoey's turned out to be an inoperable pellet gun, making it difficult for anyone to tell the robber from the "good guy," a Nassau district attorney's report found.

Immesberger called Capano "a phenomenal agent who put in exceptional work.

"We miss him everyday."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Follow Newsday on social media

advertisement | advertise on newsday