NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A wake for Nassau County Police Officer Geoffrey Breitkopf was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at the Selden Fire Department where he volunteered.
WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs on the memorial fund
Breitkopf, 40, was killed last weekend by friendly fire after responding to a call for backup. He was in plainclothes and carrying a rifle when he arrived at the chaotic scene in Massapequa Park.
Minutes earlier, officers had fatally shot Anthony Digeronimo, who allegedly was threatening people with knives before lunging at police.
Nassau County’s police union said the shooting of Breitkopf may have been instigated by a retired NYPD officer.
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Neighbors, including Theresa Kelly who called 911, said she remembers the man who shouted “he’s got a gun” when Breitkopf and other special operations officers arrived at the scene.
Kelly said the man was “shouting things, running around, ordering people around.”
On Tuesday, David Digeronimo, the suspect’s father, spoke to CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan. Digeronimo said his son’s death was preventable.
When asked if a taser should have been used, the suspect’s father replied “anything except killing the little boy in front of me” would have been better.
The elder Digeronimo said he had asked police “to put the guns away” and not to hurt his son. He said his family was also saddened about the shooting of Officer Breitkopf.
The MTA police and Nassau County Police said a full scale investigation would continue.
The chaos of the final moments was also caught on tape:
Officer 1: “The person has knives hanging from his clothing. He’s walking east on Front Street.”
Officer 2: “The subject just went into residence.”
Officer 3: “Be advised. The subject with a knife and threatening other witnesses.”
Special Operations Officer: “Shots fired. Forthwith on a bus.”
Dispatcher: “10-4 we’re getting an ambulance.”
(Four minutes after the shooting of Digeronimo)
Special Operations Officer: “17 to headquaters. MOS (member of the service) shot in the face!”
Special Operations Officer: “Make sure that they have cars lined up, ready to go to the hospital!”
2nd Special Operations Officer: “Headquarters, do you understand that?”
A memorial fund has been set up in officer Breitkopf’s name. Checks can be sent to the Nassau County PBA at 89 East Jericho Turnpike, Mineola, NY 11501.
“Now you have a single mom with two very young boys – six and three – who are not going to have their father providing for them anymore,” says police union president James Carver.
Carver reminds us not to forget the family, saying, “That’s what this is all about, making sure the family is taken care of going into the future.”