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Heartbreaker: Hofstra student killed by police during break-in
MINEOLA, N.Y. - In what police are describing as a crime of opportunity, a wanted man with a criminal history dating nearly 15 years entered a front door that had been left open at a New York home near Hofstra University.
A short time later, the intruder, Dalton Smith, and a 21-year-old college junior, Andrea Rebello, were both dead. The two were killed early Friday by a Nassau County police officer who fired eight shots at the masked man, hitting him seven times but also accidentally hitting Rebello once in the head, Nassau County homicide squad Lt. John Azzata said Saturday.
Smith was holding Rebello in a headlock and pointing a gun at her head before he turned his gun at the officer, Azzata said, prompting the shooting.
"He kept saying, `I'm going to kill her,' and then he pointed the gun at the police officer," Azzata said.
A loaded 9 mm handgun with a serial number scratched off was found at the scene, police said.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said he had traveled to Rebello's Tarrytown, N.Y., home to explain to Rebello's parents what happened.
"I felt obligated as a police commissioner and as a parent to inform them as soon as all the forensic results were completed," Dale said.
The veteran police officer, who was not identified, has about 12 years of experience on the Nassau County police force and previously spent several years as a New York City police officer, Dale said.
The officer is currently out on sick leave. He will be the focus of an internal police investigation once the criminal investigation is completed, which is standard police procedure in any officer-involved shooting, the commissioner said.
The shooting came just days before the school's commencement ceremonies, which are scheduled for Sunday.
A university spokeswoman said students will be handed white ribbons to wear in memory of Rebello. The shooting, which took place just steps from campus, has cast a pall over the university community as it geared up for commencement.
Earlier Saturday, police announced that Smith, 30, had been wanted on a parole violation related to a first-degree robbery conviction. A warrant was issued for Smith on April 25 for absconding from parole, police said.
Smith had what police described as "an extensive criminal history," which included arrests for robbery in the first degree in 1999, promoting prison contraband in the second degree in 2000, robbery in the first degree in 2003, assault in the second degree in 2003 and robbery in the second degree in 2003.
Rebello was in the two-story home in Uniondale, N.Y., with her twin sister Jessica, a third woman and a man when Smith, wearing a ski mask, walked into the house through an open front door, Azzata said.
The door was left open after someone had moved a car that was blocking a driveway, Azzata said.
When Smith entered, he demanded valuables and was told they were upstairs, Azzata said.
Smith, apparently unsatisfied with the valuables upstairs, asked if any of the four had a bank account and could withdraw money, Azzata said. The intruder then allowed the unidentified woman to leave and collect money from an ATM, telling her she had only eight minutes to come back with cash before he killed one of her friends, Azzata said.
The woman left for the bank and called 911, according to Azzata.
Minutes later, two police officers arrived at the home and found Rebello's twin sister Jessica running out of the front door and the male guest hiding behind a couch on the first floor, Azzata said.
One of the officers entered the home and encountered Smith holding onto Rebello in a headlock, coming down the stairs, Azzata said. Smith pulled Rebello closer and started moving backward toward a rear door of the house, pointing the gun at her head before eventually threatening the officer, Azzata said.
The Rev. Osvaldo Franklin, who gave Rebello and her twin their first communions, on Saturday night told The Associated Press their mother, Nella, couldn't even speak to him earlier in the day.
(Con't at link.)
- The heartbreaker is she leaves an identical twin behind.
- Poor girl. Just horrible.
- Imagine THIS showing up in your home.
- The girl who was sent to the ATM should've just gotten the money, given it to him, and called 911 after he left. By calling police beforehand, she put her roommates in the middle of a stand-off, which resulted in that girl's death.
- R4, you couldn't be anymore of a Monday morning QB douchebag unless you were actually wearing a helmet.
How the fuck do you know he wouldn't have killed them because she took too long at the ATM or because he just felt like killing them? You have no fucking clue what he would have done at any point - none.
- Really, R4? You're gonna stick with that absurd assessment of this tragic situation? You are a dick.
- It's nice to have a 9mm in your safe in case this type of monster show up at your house.
- r 4, you have no idea how a madman is going to respond. Watching ID network around the clock does not make you a profiling genius.
- [quote] How the fuck do you know he wouldn't have killed them because she took too long at the ATM or because he just felt like killing them?
The neighborhood is filled with students and virtually all of them have been robbed. It's the first time anyone has been killed. And police know the area is a hotbed of crime due to the student population which rents there, with multiple iPhones, iPads, laptops, iPods, game consoles, pot and beer to be stolen in each house which is shared by several students.
This was by no means an isolated instance of robberyin the area.
- Yes, R7... the gentleman who showed up at this apartment likely would have patiently waited while one of the women took time to open her gun safe. Perhaps the other could have prepared him a cup of tea as a gesture of appreciation for his taking the time to wait.
- R7? The police (ya know, the ones with training because it's their *job*) had guns...and an innocent person was still killed accidentally by them, but I'm sure a civilian has the skills of a sniper and would've gotten him right between the eyes!
- Actually, yes. Some of us are quite good. I've competed against policeman and won. Sharpshooters are a different story, but this cop was not one.
BTW. Element of surprise always gives advantage.
- R10. I have a pistol in my cash safe you absolute moron.
- Oh, you mean like in a dark movie theater where the perpetrator is wearing a bulletproof vest and armed to the teeth? How about at an elementary school in a low crime area?
How come we're more likely to hear stories about self-inflicted accidental gun shots or some child shooting daddy/sibling rather than shooting a perpetrator?
- This was on the local news yesterday. Reporters interviewed neighbourhood residents. All of them were students and all of them have been robbed. This is not a good area. The school and the police know it but don't notify the poor, clueless, out-of-town students that it is dangerous and they shouldn't rent there. Or maybe the police or university could have provided extra security in the area, but they didn't.
- [quote] [R10]. I have a pistol in my cash safe you absolute moron.
Which will help you exactly how if a robber broke into your house and held a gun up against your head? You think he'd let you go get your gun from the safe? You think you could tell him, "Oh I have a cash safe. Let's go there!" and he wouldn't blow your brains out the minute you put your hand on a gun in the safe?
- Calling all grammar queens: Is it me, or was the article horribly written?
- R16. Lets make a deal. I won't talk about Judy garland and you don't talk about how to use a firearm. Neither of us know fuck about the other's area of expertise. (As a bonus, I won't talk about living in shitty studio apartments.)
- The cop fired 8 shots. Thats fucking insane. Insane. The perp was holding an innocent person close to him. Seven shots hit the perp, one hit the girl.
Totally insane. You don't go shooting 8 times at a perp holding a hostage right next to/in front of him!
- The problem is we live in a culture that has grown up watching the types of films/tv that has everyone thinking they have the instincts to not only anticipate a perpetrator at any moment, but be able to both turn the tables on them and also make sure no one else gets hurt.
Right now, as you're on DL, someone walks in with a gun - what do you do? Where's that cash safe, on your keyboard?
- If they want money, it's in one spot in this house. They want cash, I have to get to my safe. My hey is exponentially more money in that than you are going,to get out of an ATM on any single day.
One more time. Me no Garland. You no security
BTW. Security is a major part of my job.
- [quote]One more time. Me no Garland. You no security
- Me armed robber. Me hold gun to your head. "Cash safe! Cash safe!" Me walk you to cash safe holding gun to your head. One wrong move, me blow head off.
Wrong move! You try to grab gun! Me blow your head off with gun already pressed to your head before you even lift gun in safe with your hand.
Me leave you brains on floor.
- Those girls were kind of the Portuguese version of the Olsen twins. Very into the sexy twin look
- [quote]One more time. Me no Garland. You no security
Well hell, you don't even need a gun - just cut the guy with that rapier wit.
- Me tiptoe over your brains while leaving house with alllllllll thaaaaat money from cash safe.
- Moot point. It never could have gotten in the house really. Couldn't get into the neighbourhood for that matter.a lot to be said for living amongst your equals.
- LOL, R25.
- Freeper gun troll, please understand that the time it takes for you to get the notion of grabbing a gun is 100X greater than the time it takes for an armed intruder to cap your ass if he already is pointing a gun at you. Do you sleep with a loaded gun in your hands? Wait, don't answer that.
- The robber got in the house because it was open. Somebody went outside to move a car from in front of the driveway and left the door open.
Something like 5 or 7 girls lived in the house, though they were not all in the house at the time of the robbery. There was lots of coming and going, so someone walking up to and going into the house was no big deal.
A cautionary lesson about how many people should be living together and opening and closing front and back doors.
- Please don't let him be....n/m.
He is. Pic of Dalton Smith at the link.
- Wow! The twins have huge heads with tiny little bodies.
- That's already been posted dumbass R31.
Please don't let imbecile R31 be,....
- [quote]Calling all grammar queens: Is it me, or was the article horribly written?
Darling, the horror is in the grammar more than it is in the death.
- R33, I was going to say the same to dodo bird R31 but then thought better of it.
- cops are pigs
you idiots that vote democrat this is what you are voting for more of
- [quote]Do you sleep with a loaded gun in your hands?
First post in this thread. I don't keep my LC9 in my hand when I'm sleeping, but it is loaded under my bed.
If someone like this dirtbag breaks into my house, he's not walking out.
- No great loss as she left a carbon copy of herself behind.
- So you're in your bed 24/7, R37?
[quote]you idiots that[sic] vote democrat[sic] this is what you are voting for more of[sic]
I vote Democrat (much of the time) because I want money going towards education. Exhibit A being your post.
- It's illegal to own a gun in NYC.
If they had killed the intruder they would be charged with illegal gun possession.
- 1) Hofstra is not in NYC.
2) It's not illegal to own a gun in the city or the state.
- Do you think if the cop had backed off and let the guy get out of the house that he(the intruder)would have let the girl go so he could get the hell out of there? I think that might have been the better choice. To shot at the intruder so close to the victim was very poor judgement at best.
- That cop is a fucking monster. He's no better than the burglar.
- It's not illegal to own a gun in NYC
Hofstra University is not in NYC
- Freepers are already blaming Cuomo, because the robber was out on parole. It's the government's fault that he wasn't locked up for life.
As if freepers would pay the amount of taxes it would take to keep all felons locked up for life.
"Freepers" would prefer to
-dismantle system that discourages family formation (by making it more lucrative for a woman to have children out of wedlock)
-makes advancing in the business world counterproductive (since a single mom earning less than 29K needs to make at least 69K before she sees any benefit from losing government welfare)
-stop the war on drugs that puts young "minority" men in jail
-eliminate the multiple levels of regulation that make hiring young people uneconomical
-eliminate government schooling since it doesn't actually educate
-stop treating all young "minority" men as criminals
But since these things are too outside the limited worldview of statist worshiping thugs like you, I doubt you will be able to see how they would benefit the poor.
- R46, if you believe that the majority of the right-leaning people in the US want to legalize drugs, you're either mentally deficient or delusional. Similarly, the majority of conservatives enjoy--immensely--treating minority men like criminals. I guess you fancy yourself an enlightened libertarian, but here's the thing: You'll never get Republican support for most of your ideas.
I'm glad you listen to your MSMasters.
My mom called me a few weeks ago about how her pastor (a large, southern, BAPTIST church) had railed against the dangers of drugs...and how the "War on Drugs" made it worse. He compared it to alcohol and prohibition in the 20s, and warned them of the dangers, but that the danger of giving the government power to enforce morality was worse. The theme was about "temptations" but the point was that giving power to Caesar was wrong.
- When your Republican politicians--the people who make laws--start walking the walk, I'll eat crow. Some random pastor with the right idea proves nothing. Also: plenty of Dems (note that I am not a Democrat) have indeed spoken publicly against our drug laws, proving my point that you're better off looking left. If you're sincere, that is. I don't think you are, though.
- [quote] Wow! The twins have huge heads with tiny little bodies.
They look like thy starved themselves. And for what? Sad. No more sexy twin look.
- You know, I can remove red eye (or blue eye or white eye) from photos with my frigging iPhone. The Daily Mail couldn't correct the flash eye problem in that photo? Please.
Rethugs get big bucks from the "private prison complex" so few of them will cut off the gravy train.
The only (R) that has consistently denounced the war on drugs (and the war on Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Libya) is Ron Paul. He also points out how it destroys the lives young black men at an alarming rate, but since he's a racist homophobe you will ignore him.
..if the thug that killed her had been worried that she was carrying a gun, would he have done it?
If these thugs (and thugs with badges) were scared that EVERY person they met on the street was armed, would they be assholes?
More Guns, fewer dead.
- Alright, I'll make this brief: men are violent pigs from hell.
- He entered a front door that had BEEN LEFT OPEN. Students do this ALL the time. I live in a building with a slew of college students; they prop the doors to the building open, compromising the safety of everyone who lives in it. They leave their apartment doors open, wide open. I see it all the time. Why the fuck do they do shit like this? Well, I think I know. Students think nothing will ever happen to them. They're immortal. No harm could ever befall them.
This tragic event could have been avoided simply by keep the front door locked.
- "That cop is a fucking monster. He's no better than the burglar."
You're an idiot. A pathetic idiot.
if the victim had a gun, would this have ended differently?
If a cop broke into your home during a drug bust, killed your dog and permanently disfigured your 14 month old baby, seized your home and kicked you out, and then got an award for bravery even though no drugs were found at your home--- wouldn't you think that good cops were dead cops?
- R53, they could have prevented this crime by locking their doors. No guns needed. Cops carry guns and criminals still shoot at them. People who own guns have been shot by burglars
R46, why do repugs assume most single moms are on welfare? They are not. And out-of-wedlock pregnancies are often unintended. And maybe if you spent more money on education the public school system would work just fine
- "If a cop broke into your home during a drug bust, killed your dog and permanently disfigured your 14 month old baby, seized your home and kicked you out, and then got an award for bravery even though no drugs were found at your home--- wouldn't you think that good cops were dead cops?'
No. I'd think that the cop fucked up, but no, I would not think that "good cops were dead cops." My mental health is a lot better than that.
If cops "made a mistake" and raided the wrong house and killed your family I suspect you would change your mind.
Stupid cop-sucking fools like you deserve to lose family to the cops- maybe then you will see how evil they really are.
- Both perp and victim look like trash. Cop doesn't seem too smart.
Smart trash locks the door of her residence, especially if it's in a bad area.
Smart perp doesn't become a perp.
Smart cop doesn't need to shoot a perp eight times to take him down.
- "Stupid cop-sucking fools like you deserve to lose family to the cops- maybe then you will see how evil they really are."
You are psychotic. You need to be locked up.
- Why, R63?
Because I think cops are evil and kill dark skin men at will with zero consequence?
You're the psychotic asshole.
- Why the pig worship?