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Off-duty NYPD officer fatally shot childhood friend, police say

Nassau County police investigate the shooting on Langdon

Nassau County police investigate the shooting on Langdon Road in Farmingdale Tuesday night that left one man dead. Credit: Bryan Lopez

An off-duty NYPD officer fatally shot his childhood friend in the head during an argument in front of a Farmingdale house on Tuesday evening, police said Wednesday, and the state attorney general's office is investigating the shooting. 

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, speaking to reporters at an unrelated event in Oceanside, said the encounter between the police officer, and the victim, Christopher Curro, 25 of Massapequa,  escalated from a conversation to a physical struggle.

"There was an altercation between two gentlemen; it started over a conversation they were having," said Ryder. "They met up. A struggle ensued. During that struggle, a weapon was produced and the victim was shot and killed. The person that was involved in that struggle, fighting also with that other individual, was a New York City police officer."

Ryder did not say whether the officer had been charged with the killing. When asked whether charges would be filed against the officer, Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, a police spokesman, declined to comment.

Ryder said the officer was "fairly new" to the job and had been assigned to a Queens precinct. 

"The suspect and victims were childhood friends; they grew up together," Ryder added, saying the investigation by Nassau homicide detectives is ongoing. Ryder did not explain what prompted the fight. 

A spokesman for state Attorney General Letitia James, whose office in 2015 was granted investigatory powers via executive order to probe police shootings of unarmed civilians, said the office is investigating the circumstances of the fatal shooting. 

The police officer, whose name has not yet been publicly released, was hired by the NYPD in 2019 and was suspended without pay for 30 days following the deadly shooting, NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said in an interview Wednesday. 

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, speaking at a virtual news conference Wednesday morning with Mayor Bill de Blasio, said the department was notified "almost immediately" after the shooting.

“He was an NYPD officer that discharged his firearm," Shea said in brief remarks. "As a result of that discharge, an individual was struck in the head and killed, and it’s an ongoing and very early part of that investigation.”

Nassau police officers responded to a 911 call around 8:05 p.m. for a shooting on Langdon Road and found the body, police said. 

Mary Fanelli, 62, an analyst at a medical supply distributor who lives on the street where the killing took place, said a woman who identified herself as the victim's stepmother came to the scene Wednesday and said both men had attended Farmingdale High School together. 

"It was pretty disturbing," said Fanelli. "Nothing like this has ever happened in this neighborhood."

LeBrun did not provide answers to several questions Wednesday, including whether the officer used his service weapon in the shooting, whether the victim was armed and whether either of the men were under the influence at the time. 

With Joan Gralla, Matthew Chayes and Anthony M. DeStefano

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