LI Cop Was Shot at Close Range: PBA Head

Union official describes fatal friendly fire shooting.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    We've learned new details about the friendly-fire shooting of Nassau County cop, Geoffrey Breitkopf. Breitkopf was shot and killed by an MTA officer last night, but how it happened is still under investigation because the suspect police were chasing was subdued when the officer was shot. Ann Mercogliano reports.

    The Nassau County police officer killed in a case of friendly fire by another police officer late Saturday was shot "at close range," according to a police union official.

    "The other cop was five feet away," said PBA chief James Carver, of the MTA officer who fired the shot that killed Officer Geoffrey Breitkopf.

    The Daily News has identified the MTA officer as Glenn Gentile, 33. He's been a member of the department at least six years, according to the News.  Gentile is now out on sick leave and will be performing administrative duties when he returns, MTA officials said.

    Gentile is reportedly "devastated" about what happened, the newspaper said.

    "You never know what goes through a guy's mind," said Carver. "But I can tell you this -- Geoff posed no threat."

    Breitkopf was a member of the elite Bureau of Special Operations and was dressed in plain clothes, carrying a rifle pointed toward the ground at the time of the shooting, Carver said.

    He was responding to a Massapequa Park home where a man with a knife was shot by Nassau police.

    According to Carver, a civilian at the scene appears to have shouted "he's got a gun," as Breitkopf approached.

    That's when the fatal shot was fired.

    Nassau police would not comment, saying the investigation is continuing.

    A memorial fund has been created for Breitkopf's wife and two young sons. His funeral is Friday.