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In Hofstra student Andrea Rebello shooting case, judge orders Nassau police to turn investigative files over to her family

Nassau County Police at the scene of the

Nassau County Police at the scene of the off-campus shooting May 17, 2013, in Uniondale in which Hofstra University student Andrea Rebello, right, was accidentally shot and killed by a Nassau police officer. Credit: Paul Mazza; Handout

A State Supreme Court judge has ordered Nassau County police to turn over investigative files to the family of a Hofstra student who died in an off-campus police shooting after an armed robber took her hostage.

Andrea Rebello's family is entitled to access to the records, which include the entire files from the police department's homicide squad and internal affairs bureau relating to the deadly shooting on May 17, 2013, Justice Karen Murphy's order says.

"We're hopeful that this will shed light on what really happened that night," said Manhattan attorney David Roth, who filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the county and police in May on behalf of Rebello's family. "The records will certainly be germane to the claims that we're making in the case."

County officials said Thursday that they plan to appeal the July 24 order.

"Although we have already complied with certain portions of the order, the county does intend to file an immediate notice of appeal," County Attorney Carnell Foskey said in a statement.

Roth learned of the order this week and notified Nassau officials on Tuesday. He said they had 15 days to comply or 30 days to appeal.

Among other records, officials have to turn over photos and videos of the crime scene, audio communications from the shooting investigation and information on police procedural orders regarding hostage incidents that may have been in effect at the time.

A review by Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office previously found that Officer Nikolas Budimlic -- who accidentally killed Rebello, 21, of Tarrytown, when fatally shooting her armed captor, Dalton Smith -- was justified in using deadly force.

Rice's probe found that Smith, 30, of Hempstead, had ignored commands to drop his gun and threatened to kill both Budimlic and Rebello while taking turns pointing his gun at each of them during the confrontation in the student's Uniondale rental home.

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