MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A police officer was fatally shot by an MTA officer after a confrontation with a knife-wielding man inside a Long Island home, authorities said Sunday. Police officials are still unsure of what led to the officer’s death.
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Police responded to a 911 call at around 8:20 p.m. Saturday in Massapequa Park.
When officers arrived, they found 21-year-old Anthony Digeronimo with knives strapped to his body and in his hands, said Detective Lt. Kevin Smith of the Nassau County police.
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The officers followed as Digeronimo ran into the house nearby where he lived with his parents, Smith said.
Once inside the house, the suspect barricaded himself inside a bedroom, Smith said. The officers radioed for backup, but before additional officers arrived, Digeronimo emerged and charged the officers with a knife, Smith said.
The officers drew their weapons and shot the knife-wielding man, killing him, he said.
Resident Theresa Kelly called the police and followed the suspect down the block after he unexpectedly jumped on her car.
“This person came in front of my car, with a mask, he was dressed in all black, very gothic-looking, and he was banging on my windshield,” Kelly told CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman Saturday night. “He had a very big knife in his hand.”
A full eight to thirteen minutes later, additional officers arrived including Bureau of Special Operations officers in plainclothes and Metropolitan Transportation Authority officers who normally patrol the Long Island Rail Road.
For reasons that are unclear, an MTA officer fired one shot at Officer Geoffrey Breitkopf, Smith said.
Breitkopf, a 12-year veteran, was pronounced dead Saturday night at Nassau University Medical Center.
“Being a cop was his passion,” Selden firefighter Tony Ryan told CBS 2.
At a Sunday afternoon news conference, Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey called the death a terrible accident, but had no answers as to what happened. The shooting is being investigated.
“I’m not prepared to say exactly what the circumstances were that led to the [MTA] officer to fire,” Mulvey told reporters including 1010 WINS’ Glen Schuck.
The MTA officer’s name was not released. Breitkopf leaves behind a wife and two young sons.
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