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Nassau PBA President: Civilian Shouting 'Gun' Led To Friendly Fire Shooting Death

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Nassau County police officer shot and killed in a case of friendly fire Saturday night will be laid to rest following his funeral on Friday.

Special Operations Officer Geoffrey Breitkopf, 40, was shot and killed by an MTA officer following a confrontation with knife-wielding man at a Long Island home.

WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs with the latest on who may have shouted out 'gun'


Police are still investigating the circumstances that led to the shooting, but Nassau County PBA President James Carver told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera that the tragic accident may have occurred because a man at the scene yelled 'gun' when he saw Breitkopf with a rifle.


1010 WINS' Mona Rivera speaks with PBA President James Carver

"Some of the officers that I've spoken to said that they did hear somebody yell 'gun.' It was a civilian. It wasn't one of our police officers that did that," Carver said. "I think that's what led to this MTA confrontation with Geoff, which resulted in his death."

While he was known to other cops at the scene, Carver said two MTA officers "didn't recognize who he was."

It's believed that one of those MTA officers, Glen Gentile, shot and killed Breitkopf.  Gentile has been a member of the MTAPD force since 2006.  He was at the LIRR Massapequa Park train Station Saturday evening before heading to the scene to provide backup.

The MTA released a statement Monday stating the agency and the officer involved were "fully cooperating with Nassau County Police Department's investigation into the tragic accidental death of Nassau County Officer Breitkopf."

The friendly fire shooting came a full eight to thirteen minutes after police had arrived at the Massapequa Park scene and came upon 21-year-old Anthony Digeronimo, who had knives strapped to his body and in his hands, according to Detective Lt. Kevin Smith.

Digeronimo allegedly ran into his parents' home, barricaded himself inside a bedroom before charging police with a knife. Police drew their weapons before shooting and killing Digeronimo, Smith said.

Officer Breitkopf leaves behind his wife, Paula, and two young sons Owen, 3, and Connor, 6.

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