John Capano, a 51 year old off-duty ATF agent, was at a New York pharmacy buying cancer medication for his father on New Year’s Eve when a robbery took place. The robber asked for money and pain medication, and began to make his way out of the store when Capano tackled him to the floor.

An off-duty NYPD officer and a retired Nassau County police officer were tipped-off to the robbery in the deli next door and rushed into the pharmacy with guns drawn. Details about what happened next are vague, but both men, the robber and Capano, ended up with gunshot wounds – and Capano then died at the hospital. The robber died at the scene.

Capano was a 23-year veteran of the ATF and father of two.

This is especially heavy news for fathers in law enforcement, and it should be a reminder to let the law operate normally. Though it was heroic for John Capano to try to stop the criminal, he ended up losing his life, leaving his wife and two children behind. His father, 82 year old James Capano, is a retired NYPD detective who now has to bury his own son – two weeks after his wife died of breast cancer.

John Capano’s funeral is set for Friday.