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Details Released in Friendly Fire Incident that Took Officer's Life

Details Released in Friendly Fire Incident that Took Officer's Life

The Boston Herald via YellowBrix

March 14, 2011

Police first responded to an 8:20 p.m. 911 call, Smith said.

Theresa Kelly, 71, who lives near the site of the shooting, said she heard — after police had evacuated the home — a man shout to police, "Please don’t shoot my son! Please don’t shoot my son!’ "

Kelly had called 911 a short time earlier when a man — later identified as the suspect — jumped on her car hood as she was backing out of her driveway.

The man was wearing a white mask and dark clothing, she said.

Kelly said she screamed and heard him laugh.

“He got a good laugh out of scaring me,” Kelly said. “I thought he wanted to get into my car, so I called 911.”

On Sunday morning, Kelly said she was having second thoughts about making that emergency call.

“I feel awful that I called 911,” she said. “I feel very bad because two people lost their lives, and I don’t think it should have happened that way.”

Other neighbors on DiGeronimo’s tree-lined residential block declined to comment.

When DiGeronimo ran away, Kelly said, she followed him in her car and told police where he was. She watched a police officer with a gun go into a house, which is nearby on Fourth Avenue.

“A minute later, I heard three shots,” Kelly said.

Smith said the suspect barricaded himself inside the house as police arrived and hid in a bedroom.

Police evacuated the home, and soon after, the suspect charged out of the bedroom holding “big Rambo-type knives,” Smith said.

Both officers fired shots — one fired four, another three — and the suspect died of his wounds, police said. His body remained in the house early Sunday as police awaited a search warrant, Smith said.

In a statement, the MTA offered its condolences to the fallen officer and his family. The MTA Police Department is cooperating with Nassau County police and the district attorney’s offices in the ongoing investigation, the statement said.

Breitkopf is the second Nassau officer to sustain fatal injuries in the line of duty in less than six weeks.

Last month, Nassau police mourned the department’s first line-of-duty death since 1993 after a highway patrolman was killed during a traffic stop on the Long Island Expressway.

The patrolman, Michael J. Califano, 44, of Wantagh, was killed when a trucker dozed off and slammed into the officer’s stopped patrol car, police said.

John Kaley, 25, was arrested shortly after the crash on charges including criminally negligent homicide.

With Yamiche Alcindor, Carrie Mason-Draffen, Victor Manuel Ramos and Alfonso A. Castillo


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