A Hofstra student was killed by police, who were responding to reports of a home invasion. Andrea Rebello, age 21, was shot in the head, and killed, by officers with the Nassau County, New York, police department on Friday.
Dalton Smith walked into Rebello’s home, which was left open, wearing a ski mask. Andrea, her twin sister Jessica, and two other unidentified people, were inside the home. The masked man demanded money and valuables as he threatened the group with a gun.
As reported by CBS News, Smith let the unidentified women leave, to get money from an ATM. Once free, the woman contacted authorities about the robbery.
When police arrived and entered the home, Smith had Rebello in a headlock with a gun pointed at her head. Lieutenant John Azzata, of the Nassau County homicide division explains that Smith “kept saying, ‘I’m going to kill her,’ and then he pointed the gun at the police officer.”
As reported by ABC News, the officer then fired eight shots at the suspect. Smith was shot seven times, and killed. Unfortunately, the Hofstra student was also killed by police, when one of the bullets hit her in the head.
Fellow students and family members were devastated by the shooting. Hofstra University students will honor Andrea by wearing white ribbons to their commencement today.
Andrea’s funeral service, which will be in Portuguese, is being held on Wednesday, at Teresa of Avila Church in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Reverend Osvaldo Franklin will perform the ceremony. He has known the family for years, having given Andrea her first communion. He states that Andrea’s family is “a very good family, they have very good values … they are a very good, very devoted family.”
Officials report that Dalton Smith, age 30, had a long history of criminal activity, including at least three prior charges of robbery. At the time of his death, he was wanted for violating his parole, stemming from a conviction of first-degree robbery.
The officer who fired the shots remains unidentified. He has been with the Nassau County Police department for 12 years. The officer is currently on paid sick leave. His actions will be investigated internally, per standard procedure.
The Hofstra student was killed by police just one year shy of her graduation. Andrea’s death has cast a shadow over the entire university campus and community. Her family is in mourning and have not spoken with the press.
[Image via Wikimedia]