published Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Officer shot dead by another officer in NYC suburb

MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y. — A police officer was fatally shot by another officer after a confrontation with a knife-wielding man inside a home in a New York City suburb, authorities said Sunday. The suspect also was killed.

Police responded to a 911 call at around 8:20 p.m. Saturday in Massapequa Park, nearly 40 miles east of Manhattan. Theresa Kelly told Newsday she was backing out of her driveway when the suspect, wearing dark clothing and a hockey mask, jumped on the hood of her car.

“He got a good laugh out of scaring me,” said the 71-year-old Kelly. “I thought he wanted to get into my car, so I called 911.”

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.

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.

Several 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 Breitkopf, one of the special operations officers, Smith said.

Breitkopf, a 12-year veteran, was pronounced dead Saturday night at Nassau University Medical Center.

It was the second line-of-duty death of a Nassau County officer this year.

Highway patrolman Michael Califano was killed Feb. 5 when a truck slammed into his police cruiser in Old Westbury, N.Y.

The MTA officer’s name was not released. The shooting is under investigation.

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