Hofstra Student Accidentally Killed by Nassau County Veteran Police Officer (UPDATE)


Police officials have confirmed a report saying that a Nassau County veteran police officer accidentally shot and killed 21-year-old Hofstra University junior Andrea Rebello during a police-involved shooting at her Long Island home after an early morning break-in was reported, Friday.

The 30-year-old armed intruder, Dalton Smith, was wearing a ski mask and entered the front door that had been left open, 2:20 a.m. Friday.

Andrea was living in the two-story Uniondale home, N.Y., with her twin sister Jessica, along with another woman and a man. After demanding their valuables including money and jewelry, Smith ordered Jessica to leave and collect money from an ATM, setting a deadline of only eight minutes.

Jessica, acting like she was leaving for the bank, immediately made a 911 call.

Two policemen arrived at 2:29 a.m., during which time both Smith and Andrea were killed. Nassau County police officer fired eight shots. The masked gunman was hit seven times and one bullet struck Andrea in the head.

Nassau County homicide squad Lt. John Azzata said a loaded 9 mm handgun with a serial number scratched off was discovered at the scene.

Apparently, Smith was pointing the gun at Rebello's head and kept on saying, 'I'm going to kill her,' before turning it toward the officer, which instigated the shooting. Apart from Andrea, all the other house inmates escaped unhurt.

"She was so devastated. She's just crying. We have to pray for Andrea, to pray for Jessica because she needs help. The family's a very good and a devoted family, they have very good values," said Rev. Osvaldo Franklin, who gave Rebello and her twin their first communions.

A funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at Teresa of Avila Church in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

The veteran police officer in question allegedly has 12 years of experience on the Nassau County police force and has previously served as a New York City police officer for several years.

Currently, the officer is on sick leave. He will be subjected to internal police investigation once the criminal investigation ends, a general norm carried out in any officer-involved shooting.

The tragic death of Rebello occurred days before the university's commencement ceremony.

Smith is a criminal in the wanted list with a felonious history for 15 years. His felony offences include two first-degree robberies 1999 and 2003, smuggled goods in the second degree, 2000, and second-degree assault and robbery, 2003.

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