According to Brancato, he and his accomplice Steven Armento broke into an apartment on that December morning "to try to score some drugs."
When off-duty officer Daniel Enchautegui responded to the break-in, a gunfight erupted.
According to police, Brancato's accomplice, Armento, fired at the officer first, striking him near his heart. Armento was then shot four times and is now serving a life sentence. Brancato served eight years on a burglary charge after being acquitted of murder, thanks in part to New York criminal lawyer Joe Tacopina.
Brancato admitted that the instance could've been avoided all together if he had listened to advice given to him from James Gandolfini about drug use.
"Basically he told me that we have a really good thing here, which is doing what we love and being in this profession, and he just told me to take it easy," said Brancato, who will be on probation for five years.