Suspect involved in death of NY college student was wanted for parole violations
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - A wanted man with a criminal history dating back nearly 15 years was identified by police Saturday as the masked home invader involved in the death of a Hofstra University student early Friday morning.
Dalton Smith, who was wanted on a parole violation related to a first-degree robbery conviction, attempted to rob the off-campus home where he and Hofstra junior Andrea Rebello were fatally shot, Nassau County police said.
Authorities say a police officer's bullet killed Andrea during the response to a home invasion at an off-campus home.
Nassau County homicide squad Lt. John Azzata said
Saturday night that Andrea Rebello was killed by a police officer as she
was being held in a headlock by a masked intruder.
Azzata says the police officer opened fire as Dalton Smith made a motion to fire at the officers early Friday morning.
Azzata says the officer fired eight shots, hitting Smith seven times and Rebello once in the head, killing her.
Smith was identified using fingerprints just hours after funeral arrangement were made for Rebello, 21, a popular public relations major who was with her twin sister Jessica and several other students in an off-campus house at the time of the break-in. The other students were unharmed.
Smith, of Hempstead, Long Island, had what police described as "an extensive criminal history," which included arrests for robbery in the first degree in 1999, promoting prison contraband in the second degree in 2000, robbery in the first degree in 2003, assault in the second degree in 2003 and robbery in the second degree in 2003.
Nassau County Chief of the Homicide squad Lt. John Azzata said in a statement that a warrant was issued for Smith on April 25 for absconding from parole.
The shooting, which took place just steps from campus, cast a pall over the university community as it geared up for commencement on Sunday.
"Today is the last day of finals and this should be a happy day on campus; but it's not," said Hofstra freshman Scott Aharoni of Great Neck, as he passed through the area rife with yellow crime-scene tape Friday. "It's really sad."
Rebello's father, Fernando, was too distraught to discuss the incident in detail outside the family's Tarrytown, N.Y., home Friday.
"It's my daughter, my baby daughter," he told the Journal News through tears. "She was so beautiful. I'm so confused.
"I don't know what to do," he said.
The Journal News reported that Wednesday's funeral Mass for Rebello at Teresa of Avila Church in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., will be in Portuguese.
Hofstra's commencement ceremonies will go on as planned on Sunday despite the tragedy. University spokeswoman Karla Schuster said she expects school President Stuart Rabinowitz to acknowledge the shooting in his remarks.
The two sisters, another woman and another man were inside the two-story rental house when the gunman, wearing a ski mask, forced his way in, according to Nassau County Inspector Kenneth Lack. The intruder allowed the third unidentified woman to leave, and she called 911.
A law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press the woman called 911 from near an ATM. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Victoria Dehel, who lives four houses away, said she heard what sounded like fighting. At first she ignored it, figuring it was from rowdy students coming home from a bar.
Suddenly, "this girl was shrieking," followed by loud bangs just seconds later.
"It didn't sound good at all," Dehel said. "I turned to my boyfriend and I said, 'I think someone just got murdered.' It was awful."
Rebello and her sister were 2010 graduates of Sleepy Hollow High School, according to principal Carol Conklin-Spillane.
"They were smart happy beautiful young women," Conklin-Spillane said. "I speak about them together because they were very much a matched pair. They were best friends by choice."
Andrea Rebello quoted Benjamin Franklin and Bob Marley in a yearbook photo from the school.
"Believe some of what you hear and only half of what you see" was attributed to the founding father and "Love the life you live, live the life you love" was the citation for the reggae legend.
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:49 PM EST2013-12-04 03:49:17 GMT
It's a place they've stood many times before. At the corner of Federal and Leonard in east Toledo.Tuesday night, Elaina's family and friends met one final time, hours after her mother and mother's ex-boyfriendMore >>
Dozens of people gather in east Toledo to honor Elaina Steinfurth one last time. The vigil was only a few hours after the baby's mother and mother's ex-boyfriend were sentenced in connection with her murder.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 12:25 PM EST2013-12-04 17:25:43 GMT
WASHINGTON, D.C. (12/04/2013) - Christmas is a little more than three weeks away, but in the nation's capital, holiday festivities kicked off with the lighting of the Christmas Capitol Tree, led by SpeakerMore >>
Christmas is a little more than three weeks away, but in the nation's capital, holiday festivities kicked off with the lighting of the Christmas Capitol Tree, led by Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R).More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 9:37 AM EST2013-12-04 14:37:41 GMT
One person was found dead inside a burning home in Sandusky Tuesday night. The flames broke out at the home in the 2200 block of Campbell Street around 8:30. Firefighters found the body inside. InvestigatorsMore >>
An 86-year old man is dead in Sandusky after being stabbed and having his house set on fire.More >>
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:47 PM EST2013-12-04 03:47:40 GMT
A woman is dead following an accident in Toledo. It happened just before 5:00 Tuesday evening in front of Whitmer High School on West Alexis Road. Toledo Police say 52-year-old Paula Hornsby was drivingMore >>
A woman is dead following an accident in Toledo. It happened just before 5:00 Tuesday evening in front of Whitmer High School on West Alexis Road.More >>
Tuesday, December 3 2013 11:56 PM EST2013-12-04 04:56:16 GMT
A hunter has died after being shot in the head Tuesday afternoon in Delta. The Fulton County Sheriff's Office is assisting the Division of Wildlife in the investigation. Investigators are interviewingMore >>
A 21-year-old hunter is dead after a shooting in Royalton Township in Fulton County. It happened at State Highway 109 and County Road N.More >>
Tuesday, December 3 2013 9:54 PM EST2013-12-04 02:54:34 GMT
Angela Steinfurth has pled to charges to Steinfurth is the mother of Baby Elaina, who went missing in June and whose body was found this fall in Steven King's garage.More >>
More than six months after Toledo toddler Elaina Steinfurth was first reported missing, her mother Angela and Angela's ex-boyfriend Steven King were sentenced to life in prison with the eligibility of parole.More >>
Christmas is more than three weeks away, but in Washington DC holiday festivities kicked off tonight. 13abc's Washington Correspondent Lauren Adams was outside the Capitol for the annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree.More >>
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:07 PM EST2013-12-04 03:07:41 GMT
SEATTLE (AP) - Seahawks fans rocked the stadium so hard during Monday night's matchup with New Orleans that seismic instruments registered small tremors at various points in the game. A magnitude 1More >>
Seahawks fans rocked the stadium so hard during Monday night's matchup with New Orleans that seismic instruments registered small tremors at various points in the game.More >>