(HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.) — The Hofstra University junior killed during and armed home invasion of her off-campus house on Friday was accidently fatally shot by the responding officer, forensic investigators have concluded.
Police say Dalton Smith, a wanted man with a lengthy criminal history, was masked when he entered 21-year-old Andrea Rebello’s home Friday, demanding money and valuables from Rebello and her three roommates. When police arrived, Smith used Rebello as a human shield in an attempt to escape.
“He’s still got the gun to our victim’s head,” Nassau County Homicide Squad Police Lieutenant John Azzata explained. “Eventually menaces our police officer, points his gun at the police officer and at that point, the police officer fires several rounds.”
The officer, who is described as “highly decorated,” fired eight shots. Seven of them hit Smith, but the eighth bullet hit Rebello in the head. Both were killed.
The officer is currently on sick leave.
Now, instead of celebrating Sunday’s graduation festivities at Hofstra University, friends and classmates held a memorial for Rebello.
“It’s really sad. She’s a very sweet girl, she doesn’t deserve this,” one student told ABC’s Linzie Janis. “I really have no words for this. It is so unbelievable. I didn’t think it was real.”
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