Nassau County Police Officer who fatally Shot Hofstra University Student Found Not Guilty (UPDATE)By Staff Reporter
Nikolas Budimlic, the Nassau County officer who accidentally shot and killed a 21-year-old Hofstra University student, has been found not guilty Wednesday, according to a 26-page investigative report by the Nassau County District Attorney's office, New York.
Andrea Rebello was killed May 17, 2013 during a police-involved shooting at her Long Island home after an early morning break-in was reported.
The report said that Nikolas Budimlic 'acted accordingly' when he opened fire that resulted in the death of the 30-year-old armed suspect, Delton Smith, and the student. Budimlic "reasonably perceived threats of deadly force against himself and others and acted accordingly," NY Daily News reports.
"Smith ignored numerous commands to drop his weapon and repeated his threats to shoot both Andrea Rebello and Officer Budimlic," the report said. "Officer Budimlic clearly and reasonably believed that the use of deadly physical force was necessary to defend himself and Andrea Rebello and, on this basis, made the decision to discharge his weapon," CNN reports.
The finding is based on interviews with police officers and civilian witnesses and forensic evidence.
Rebello was living in the two-story Uniondale home, N.Y., with her twin sister Jessica, along with another woman and a man. Police officials said that Smith, a wanted felon, wearing a black ski mask entered the front door at about 2:20 a.m., May 2013.
After demanding their valuables including money and jewelry, Smith ordered Jessica to collect money from an ATM within eight minutes. Instead of going to a bank, Jessica immediately made a 911 call.
Two policemen arrived at 2:29 a.m.
Apparently, Smith grabbed Rebello by the hair and held her at gunpoint. The armed home intruder then said, "I'm going to kill her. You put the gun down. Let me go. What now? I will kill her! I'm getting out of here!" before turning the gun toward the officer, which incited the shooting.
The Nassau County police officer fired eight shots. The masked gunman was hit seven times and one bullet struck Rebello in the head. Apart from Andrea, all the other house inmates escaped unhurt. She died of her injuries at Nassau University Medical Center.
Police officials later learnt that Smith approached the house to collect $10,000 he owed to a Russian guy.