Andrea Rebello slaying: Hofstra student from Tarrytown was accidentally shot by cop, police say
As devastated family and friends mourned shooting victim Andrea Rebello and planned her funeral, Nassau County police on Saturday night said the Hofstra University junior killed in a home invasion robbery was accidentally shot by a police officer inside her off-campus rental house.
The gunman, earlier identified as Dalton Smith, 30, of Hempstead, an ex-con out on parole for first-degree robbery, was also killed during the 2:30 a.m. home-invasion robbery Friday near Hofstra University.
Police said Smith had an extensive criminal history, including several robbery arrests dating to 1999. A warrant was issued for Smith in April for absconding from parole. He was identified through a fingerprint analysis, police said.
Smith was armed with a gun when he barged into the Uniondale house about a block from campus, demanding money from four Hofstra students inside early Friday morning.
A shooting occurred during the police response to a 911 call from one of the students whom the gunman allowed to leave the hostage-like scene to draw money out of an ATM.
People close to Rebello said she was inseparable from her twin sister, Jessica, who was also inside the home with two others. No one else was injured.
Rebello, who majored in public relations with a minor in sociology, was described as "serious fun, a typical teenager." The twins were 2010 graduates of Sleepy Hollow High School. The promising young woman from Tarrytown will be laid to rest Wednesday following a service at the church where she was an altar server for years.
A stream of neighbors and friends parked their cars in front of the Rebellos' Tarrytown home throughout the day on Saturday, some dropping of groceries and others delivering flowers. All declined to speak when asked for comment on the tragedy.
A wake will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Coffey Funeral Home, 91 N. Broadway, Tarrytown. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Teresa of Avila Church in Sleepy Hollow at 10 a.m. Wednesday and interment will follow at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Rebello and her twin sister, who both received their confirmation sacrament at the church, helped with services there together for years, said Nancy Coffey, the owner of the funeral home.
The Rev. Osvaldo Franklin, of Our Lady of Fatima in Yonkers, who performs a Mass in Portuguese every Sunday at St. Teresa's, will lead the services. Rebello described herself on her blog as Portuguese.
Hofstra officials lowered flags to half-staff to honor Rebello and offered grief counseling services at the Student Center. Commencement, scheduled for Sunday, will continue as planned.
Besides her sister, Rebello is survived by her parents, Fernando and Nella Freitas Rebello.
With Zachary Dowdy and Robert Brodsky