Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Hostage student shot by police

A Nassau County student was shot dead during a stand-off (AP)

A New York college student who was held hostage in her home by an armed man was shot and killed by a police officer.

Andrea Rebello was shot once in the head on Friday morning by an officer who had responded to a report of a home invasion at an off-campus home, police said.

The masked intruder pointed a gun at the officer while holding the 21-year-old Hofstra University student in a headlock, Nassau County homicide squad Lt John Azzata said.

In a tense confrontation with the officer, gunman Dalton Smith "menaces our police officer, points his gun at the police officer," Lt Azzata said. The officer opened fire, killing Smith and his hostage.

Lt Azzata said the Nassau County police officer fired eight shots at Smith, who police described as having an "extensive" criminal background. Smith was hit seven times and died. Ms Rebello was shot once in the head.

"He kept saying, 'I'm going to kill her,' and then he pointed the gun at the police officer," Lt Azzata said.

A loaded 9-millimetre handgun with an obliterated serial number was found at the scene, police said.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said he had travelled to Ms Rebello's home to explain to her parents what happened. Mr Dale said: "I felt obligated as a police commissioner and as a parent to inform them as soon as all the forensic results were completed."

Police revealed that Smith, 30, was wanted on a parole violation related to a robbery conviction and had an arrest history dating back nearly 15 years.

The shooting, which took place just steps from campus, has cast a pall over the university community as it geared up for graduation ceremonies. A university spokeswoman said students will be handed white ribbons to wear in memory of Ms Rebello.

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