NEW YORK (WPIX)—A wake for fallen Nassau County Special Operations Officer Geoffrey J. Breitkopf, 40, was held today as new information emerges in the investigation into his death.
Breitkopf was shot at close range by MTA officer, Glenn Gentile, while responding to a call of an armed person at a home in Massapequa Park, Long Island on Saturday. Gentile allegedly mistook Breitkopf for an assailant after someone yelled "gun" at the scene. Published reports identified John Cafarella, 58, a former Emergency Services Unit sergeant as the person who yelled. Carafella reportedly listens to police scanners and often arrives at crime scenes.
Gentile and his partner were responding to a call concerning Anthony DeGeronimo, 21, who was killed by Nassau County uniformed officers moments before after police say he lunged at the officers with a knife. Several weapons were found inside the home. It is common for various agencies to show support at crime scenes.
Breitkopf arrived in plain clothes minutes after the MTA officers wearing his rifle over his shoulder and his badge around his neck. According to Nassau County PBA president James Carver that's when someone, now identified as Carafella, yelled "gun". Gentile and his partner approached Breitkopf who had his rifle pointed down at all times and he was shot in the side.
Gentile is currently on medical leave. The shooting of Officer Breitkopf, a 12-year veteran on the Nassau County force, is under investigation.
Breitkopf leaves behind a wife and two sons, 3 and 6 years old. Wake services continue Thursday with a funeral scheduled at St. Margaret of Scotland Roman Catholic Church in Selden Friday at 12:30p.m.
A memorial fund has been set up for his family: the Geoffrey J. Breitkopf Memorial Fund c/o Nassau County PBA, 89 East Jericho Turnpike, Mineola, NY 11501.