Hofstra shooting victim Andrea Rebello recalled as 'wonderful' young woman

Andrea Rebello, left, a 21-year-old Hofstra University junior

Andrea Rebello, left, a 21-year-old Hofstra University junior from Westchester County, was killed during an armed home invasion at an off-campus residence in Uniondale. She is seen with her twin sister, Jessica, in a photo taken in 2012. (Credit: Facebook)

Andrea Rebello, a public relations junior at Hofstra University, was inseparable from her best friend, her identical twin sister, Jessica.

Jessica Rebello's Facebook page shows the twins liked wearing similar clothes. In last year's Halloween photo, both wore shorts but one had a Superman top and the other a Batman top.

"They did all the right things and they did all the goofy adolescent stuff," said Carol Conklin-Spillane, principal at the high school they had attended.


READ: DA report on shooting | Interactive: Deadly force incidents
PHOTOS: Hofstra shooting | Rebello honored at graduation
VIDEO: Fatal shooting near Hofstra
MORE: Audio of scanner dispatches | Complete coverage


Andrea Rebello, 21, was killed off campus in a break-in at her rental home Friday.

She possessed a sweet tooth and a penchant for sharing the good in life.

In her 2010 high school yearbook, Rebello quoted the reggae legend Bob Marley: "Love the life you live, live the life you love," she wrote before graduating from Sleepy Hollow High School in Westchester County's Tarrytown.

At the high school where Rebello had been in the English Honors Society, students Friday also had the victim on their minds, asking all day about the fatal shooting, said principal Carol Conklin-Spillane. "Our hearts go out to the family," she said.

She remembered Rebello as "just one of those all-around wonderful young women."

Hofstra student Catherine Nelson, 20, of Brooklyn, said Rebello was a cheery person. "In class she was quiet," Nelson said. "Whenever she did speak, she had something insightful to say."

Nelson said Rebello was a Beta Sigma Phi sorority sister and started sharing a rental house with four or five other members.

At the Rebellos' Tarrytown home, a godmother simply said, "There's no words . . . I'm sorry, but it's too tragic."

News of the death spread quickly in town.

"They'll never get over it," neighbor Jack Phelan said.

Rebello's parents are hardworking people who "sacrificed everything so that they'd have a better life" and had recently bought the girls a car, he said.

The father, Fernando, is a contractor who had just recently restored the family's brick and shingle, single-story house, Phelan said.

Rebello had a blog in which she described herself as "100% Portuguese" with an identical twin sister, asking "so I guess that makes me kind of unique?"

Titled "Homemade Holiday Sweets & Treats," the blog praised her mother's skills and poked fun at her own. In the last entry, posted Sunday, Rebello suggested dipping Fourth of July strawberries in patriotic-colored sugar and edible glitter, while an early April blog post showcased the Easter eggs she helped color at home with her family.

"I thought it would be cool to make a blog on different holiday sweets and treats," she wrote.

In the "About Me" blog section, Rebello said she would test the recipes: "I'm actually gonna attempt to make all of them (wish me luck) . . I'm not really good at this whole 'blogging' thing, so don't judge! Enjoy... :-)"

With Mae Cheng

and Tom Zambito

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