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The area has been struggling with a growing tide of prescription drug abuse, said Razov Felice, owner of an Italian restaurant down the street.

“There is a lot of problem in Long Island with these drugs,” Felice said. “I don’t know what people are thinking. The more people talk about these drugs, the more people are trying them.”

A message left at McGoey’s Hampton Bays home wasn’t immediately returned Sunday.

Armed robberies at pharmacies in the U.S. rose 81 percent between 2006 and 2010, from 380 to 686, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. On Father’s Day, four people were gunned down by a drug addict during a pharmacy robbery about 30 miles west of the one in Seaford where Capano was killed.

His death is the latest in a string of shootings of off-duty officers in the New York area who were responding to a crime.

In May, a New York Police Department officer shot to death an off-duty colleague who was carrying a gun while chasing a suspected car thief in East Harlem.

In March, an off-duty transit authority officer shot a Nassau County police officer who was in plainclothes and carrying a rifle while both men were responding to a crime in the town of Massapequa Park.

And in 2008, Westchester County police officers killed an off-duty officer from suburban Mount Vernon while he intervened in a fight.

Associated Press writers Chris Hawley, Cristian Salazar and David B. Caruso contributed to this report.