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Hofstra student Andrea Rebello's family to sue Nassau over her death

Hofstra University junior Andrea Rebello was killed during

Hofstra University junior Andrea Rebello was killed during an armed home invasion at an off-campus residence in Uniondale on May 17, 2013. She was 21. Newsday's obituary for Andrea Rebello
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The family of a Hofstra University student killed in May by a Nassau police officer during an off-campus hostage standoff filed legal papers Friday announcing that they will sue Nassau County for wrongfully causing her death.

The lawyer for 21-year-old Andrea Rebello's estate said in the filing that police were "negligent . . . in failing to follow Nassau County police hostage protocols" and "failing to act as reasonable and prudent police officers and/or police supervisors under the circumstances."

A second set of legal documents claims that Andrea's twin sister Jessica Rebello was wrongfully detained, "harassed, abused and humiliated" by police officers at the scene in the hours after her sister was killed.

Jessica Rebello was forced to remain in a police car for several hours, was not told of her sister's death, and was not allowed to call her parents, the legal papers say.

The claims seek unspecified damages from the county.

Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli said the shooting "was clearly a tragedy" and that his office would try to resolve it in a way that "attempts to end the pain and suffering, and start the healing."

Ciampoli added that he will listen to settlement offers from the family.

In regards to Jessica Rebello's claims of wrongful detainment, Ciampoli said: "It sounds to me like they were protecting her and had a material witness that they otherwise had a right to detain."

Manhattan attorney David Roth, representing the Rebello family, declined to comment on the filing.

Police have said ex-convict Dalton Smith walked through an unlocked door into the rental home on California Avenue in Uniondale that Rebello shared with her twin sister Jessica and two others on May 17, and demanded money and jewelry.

Smith ordered a female resident to withdraw cash from a bank, and said he would kill someone in the home if she did not return within eight minutes, police said. While at the bank, the woman called 911.

Officer Nikolas Budimlic, a 12-year veteran of the Nassau police force, entered the home and fired eight rounds after confronting Smith, 30, as the Hempstead man held Rebello in a chokehold, police said.

The legal papers called Budimlic "unfit to serve as a police officer" and said he did not have the training or information he needed before entering the home.

They also claim the county was negligent in failing to properly train the 911 operators and intentionally diverted funds designated for training for other purposes.

Last month, the Civil Service Employees Association filed a lawsuit against the county claiming the 911 operators had not received adequate classroom training, including in dispatching hostage calls.

CSEA president Jerry Laricchiuta, whose union represents the 911 operators, declined to comment on the legal filings.

Police Benevolent Association president James Carver did not return a call for comment.

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