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NY Suburban Police Officer Kills Both Burglar And College Student In Split-Second Decision

Hofstra Shooting House
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A college student on New York’s Long Island was killed in front of her twin sister by friendly fire from a suburban New York police officer after an ex-convict attempted to burglarize a group of college students.

An intruder broke into a suburban house in Uniondale, New York, just steps away from Hofstra University last Thursday night.  According to an account from Hofstra student John Kourtessis to the New York Post, Dalton Smith enter the house demanding the four Hofstra students in the house that they owed a Russian guy $10,000.

One student was let out to go to an area bank to withdraw funds.  She called 911 while at the bank.  The other three tried to appease the ex-con to get him to leave by bringing him jewelry, computers, and any other valuables to get to $10,000.

Long Island’s Nassau County police officers arrived on the scene.  The victim’s sister thought it was the other student who went to get the funds.  She saw instead it was the police and ran to safety.

Smith realized the police had arrived and held Andrea Rebello, 21, in a headlock with his handgun to her head.  In an exchange of yelling, police officers demanded the ex-con to put down his gun; Smith responded yelling that he was going to kill the victim.

Smith then rose the gun to the officer he was confronted by and the officer shot at the felon eight times.  Seven of the bullets hit Smith, one hit Rebello, killing both.

Smith had an extensive criminal record including several robbery and assault charges, dating back to 1999.  According to the New York Post account, the ex-con did whatever he could to not go back to prison.

Nassau County Police conducted an internal review of what happened in the house and ruled that the responding officer had killed Rebello.  According to, that officer is ‘inconsolable’ about what had happened that night.  The officer is a 12-year veteran of the police force, after 8 years with the NYPD.

New York police experts tell both CBSNewYork and the Associated Press that it is difficult to fault the officer for his actions when the decision-making must be quick, exact, and decisive.

Despite the death of Andrea Rebello, the father of the other student in the house told CBSNewYork that his is thankful for the officer’s action to protect the life of his son.

The shootings have shaken students and staff at the university, just days before yesterday’s commencement.


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