Student accidentally shot dead by police while aiming for burglar

first_imgIN WHAT POLICE are describing as a crime of opportunity, a wanted man with a criminal history dating nearly 15 years broke into a New York home near Hofstra University.A short time later, the intruder, Dalton Smith, and a 21-year-old college junior, Andrea Rebello, were both dead.The two were killed by a Nassau County police officer who fired eight shots at the masked man, hitting him seven times but also accidentally hitting Rebello once in the head.Smith was holding Rebello in a headlock and pointing a gun at her head before he turned his gun at the officer, Azzata said, prompting the shooting.Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said he had traveled to Rebello’s Tarrytown, New York, home to explain to Rebello’s parents what happened.“I felt obligated as a police commissioner and as a parent to inform them as soon as all the forensic results were completed,” Dale said.The veteran police officer, who was not identified, has about 12 years of experience on the Nassau County police force and previously spent several years as a New York City police officer, Dale said.Officers continue working the scene at the house in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)The shooting came just days before the school’s commencement ceremonies, which are scheduled for today.A university spokeswoman said students will be handed white ribbons to wear in memory of Rebello. The shooting, which took place just steps from campus, has cast a pall over the university community as it geared up for commencement.Police said that Smith, 30, had been wanted on a parole violation related to a first-degree robbery conviction. A warrant was issued for Smith on April 25 for absconding from parole, police said.Smith had what police described as “an extensive criminal history,” which included arrests for robbery in the first degree in 1999, promoting prison contraband in the second degree in 2000, robbery in the first degree in 2003, assault in the second degree in 2003 and robbery in the second degree in 2003.Rebello was in the two-story home in Uniondale, New York, with her twin sister Jessica, a third woman and a man when Smith, wearing a ski mask, walked into the house through an open front door, Azzata said.When Smith entered, he demanded valuables and was told they were upstairs, Azzata said.Smith, apparently unsatisfied with the valuables upstairs, asked if any of the four had a bank account and could withdraw money, Azzata said. The intruder then allowed the unidentified woman to leave and collect money from an ATM, telling her she had only eight minutes to come back with cash before he killed one of her friends.The woman left for the bank and called 911.Minutes later, two police officers arrived at the home and found Rebello’s twin sister Jessica running out of the front door and the male guest hiding behind a couch on the first floor.One of the officers entered the home and encountered Smith holding onto Rebello in a headlock, coming down the stairs, Azzata said. Smith pulled Rebello closer and started moving backward toward a rear door of the house, pointing the gun at her head before eventually threatening the officer.Read: 60 passengers injured in NYC train crash>More: Boston suspect wrote note before he was captured – report>last_img

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