GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – No criminal charges will be filed in the “friendly fire” shooting that claimed the life of a police officer on Long Island.
EXTRA: Nassau County District Attorney’s Report (pdf)
In a report issued Tuesday, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said her office has investigated the March 2011 shooting of Officer Geoffrey Breitkopf and determined “police reasonably perceived threats of deadly force against themselves or others, and they acted accordingly.”
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera Reports
The 12-year veteran of the force was killed by MTA officer Glen Gentile, who apparently mistook Breitkopf for a possible suspect following a confrontation with a knife-wielding suspect, Anthony DiGeronimo, at a Massapequa Park home.
Digeronimo was allegedly threatening people with knives at the chaotic scene.
Rice calls the shooting unquestionably “tragic,” but says criminal charges would be unsustainable. The report from the DA’ office also said that investigation into the death of Breitkopf “is now being closed.”
Theresa Kelly, who was a civilian at the scene and interviewed by investigators, said the closing of the case saddens her.
“The whole thing shouldn’t have happened. Everything went haywire, just total chaos,” she told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
The report said that Gentile saw Breitkopf’s gun pointed in the direction of civilians and other officers during the confrontation with DiGeronimo.
After perceiving Breitkopf as a threat, the report said, Gentile fired one shot, which struck Breitkopf in the torso. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Breitkopf was a member of the elite Bureau of Special Operations and was in street clothes when he was shot.
The report also concluded the shooting of DiGeronimo was justified.
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