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The family of a 21 year-old college student, who was shot and killed by police officers responding to a home invasion at her rental home in Uniondale, NY, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the local police department, alleging that the officers acted recklessly and negligently, thereby causing the young woman’s death. The tragic accident occurred on May 17, 2013, when a 30-year-old wanted felon named Delton Smith broke into the home of Andrea Rebello, a 21-year-old Hofstra University student, and held her and several other students hostage at gunpoint.
Another student in the home called 911, and officers from the Nassau County police department responded. Rebello, a native of Tarrytown, NY, was shot and killed by the officers when they opened fire, attempting to shoot Smith.
According to police reports, Smith was holding Rebello in a headlock when police opened fire. A poorly aimed bullet mistakenly struck Rebello in the head.
Rebello died from her injuries. Smith was also shot seven times, and he died from his injuries as well.
Rebello’s family filed the wrongful death lawsuit on May 16, 2014, naming Nassau County and the Nassau County Policy Department as defendants. The suit alleges that the Nassau County police officers who responded to the home invasion “recklessly and unnecessarily” endangered Rebello’s life. It is alleged that her death was caused, in part, by their negligence.
The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office has defended the officer who accidentally shot Rebello, stating that he “acted accordingly” under the conditions and circumstances that existed when he opened fire.
The lawsuit brought by the Rebello family seeks an unspecified amount of wrongful death damages.