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N.Y. Cop 'Torn Up' Over Hostage's Death

May 20, 2013  | 

Photo via Instagram.
Photo via Instagram.
A Nassau County (N.Y.) Police officer who fatally shot a Hofstra University student and her armed captor during a standoff has struggled to deal with the accidental death, according to a police source close to the officer.

Andrea Rebello, 21, died early Friday along with 30-year-old Dalton Smith, who had broken into the student's Uniondale home where she lived with several other students. Smith entered the home wearing a ski mask and took Rebello hostage. Two of the students escaped and called 911. Police arrived 10 minutes later.

Two Nassau County officers responded. One entered the house and confronted Smith, who held Rebello in a headlock, reports CBS New York. Smith pointed the gun at Rebello's head and repeatedly threatened to kill her. He then pointed the gun at the officer. The officer acted quickly because he believed his and Rebello's life were in danger, police sources told CBS New York.

The responding officers may not have been aware that Smith had hostages in the home, reports the New York Times.

The 42-year-old Nassau cop, a 12-year agency veteran and former NYPD officer, is said to be inconsolable over Rebello's death, reports the New York Post. "He blames himself and keeps replaying it in his mind," a police source told the Post. "He is torn up about the poor girl." The officer has been placed on medical leave.

Smith has a lengthy criminal history and had been wanted since April for absconding from parole. His criminal record includes armed robbery and automobile theft convictions, reports the Post.

Tags: Nassau County (N.Y.) PD, Home Invasions, Deadly Force, Hostage Situations, Accidental Shootings


Comments (33)

Displaying 1 - 33 of 33

Bedell Toro @ 5/20/2013 2:43 PM

As a retired Detective, we have all found our selves in that situation where we had to make that split life and death decision. This Outstanding Officer will now be second guessed by our drive by media. Im already hearing in the NY media that he violated Dept. procedures. I hope that sound heads see this shooting for what it was. A tragic horror that no cop wants to face. My heart goes to the family, and my 100% goes to the Officer.
B. Toro, NYPD Det.

Chuck @ 5/20/2013 2:48 PM

Hey bloomboog your a POS. If your citizens had CCW permits this would not have happend. To my brother I am praying hard for you. I hope you realize you did the best you could,and screw all you monday morning Qbs. God bless you and I hope you get well soon

NJmotorcop @ 5/20/2013 3:06 PM

Hey Chuck, its not Bloomy's fault. He's right, if background checks or licenses were required to buy a gun in NY this dirtbag couldn't have gotten one in the first place! And if that young lady had one she probably would have just shot her eye out! (End sarcasm mode.)

Howard Cook @ 5/20/2013 3:06 PM

Why was this POS out of prison anyway?

JESSEOHBOY!! @ 5/20/2013 3:06 PM

Keep your head up brother!! This is one of those situation where you could have been kill or seriously injured, you did what you had to do.. He pointed at you or your fellow officer you were force to use Deadly Physical Force. My heart goes out the innocent victim family at this hardest time to deal with, brother in blue God Bless You and your family, every night we don't think of the possibility of using our firearms and where by standers get hurt from an officer weapon. Get well brother..

ghills @ 5/20/2013 3:25 PM

When are we going to stop recycling these criminals. It's time to increase the number of death penalty sentences and actually carry them out.

JJ @ 5/20/2013 3:38 PM

Gun control in NY really did a lot to keep a gun out of the hands of this ex-con didn't it! Only the lawful obey gun laws while the bad guys find ways to get them illegally. As a retired LEO in the screwed up state of CA, my heart goes out to the officer who did what he had to do, or he and the girl would both be dead.

Chuck @ 5/20/2013 3:39 PM

NJ Motorcop, they will buy guns off the blackmarket. How do you stop that brother ? What about all the guns from fast and furious, you dont think any of those guns have made their way back to the US ?

Tom Ret @ 5/20/2013 3:40 PM

What this officer does not need now is other officers making I would have done it differently comments. It is a given that those who
likely have never had their butt on the line will be critical. No doubt, this officer will be his own worst critic. Those looking at the situation
objectively, who have experienced similar situations, know that only
by the grace of God go I. There are two victims in this case and only one
who should be blamed and that is the dead suspect.

AusFost1 @ 5/20/2013 3:49 PM

To the Nassau officer involved - because you are such a great officer, you will torture yourself, but I wish you wouldn't - truly, the courage expected of police officers knows no bounds. Not only facing death, but facing the fact that we are human. We make mistakes, and sometimes, yes, people die. But PLEASE don't let it ruin your life. Please. You were there, you did SOMETHING, and while she passed away, she didn't suffer worse things (and there are worse things, we all know that). You are going to make more mistakes, but that's where bravery comes in. Be brave, of course be sorry, but keep going. Society needs good people, not machines, and sometimes the price is high. But you are still very needed and very appreciated. Don't give up.

NJmotorcop @ 5/20/2013 4:03 PM

"NJ Motorcop, they will buy guns off the blackmarket. How do you stop that brother ? What about all the guns from fast and furious, you dont think any of those guns have made their way back to the US ?"

Sarcasm, brother, sarcasm!!! Of course you are right, they will get them anyway. History has absolutely and irrefutably proven that to be true! This has been common knowledge for so long that it proves that the anti-gunners aren't trying to reduce crime at all, they have another (subversive) agenda altogether. Fighting crime is just an excuse to pacify the sheeple!

8Sam1@mpd @ 5/20/2013 4:07 PM

The officer did what he had to do in & at that second. We should support him & let him know he did no wrong here. He entered to intervene in the felonious activity the suspect chose to commit upon the young woman, if not who knows what horror he would have her through. Saint Michael be with, console & watch over our Nassau County brother, hold him within your wings to comfort & protect him.

HAL ADLEMAN @ 5/20/2013 5:09 PM

The pontificating sanctimonious leaders of the mass media sit in their comfortable quiet offices with nothing at risk, and second guess decisions that had to be made in instants under situations of stress, great danger, and sometimes confusion. The mass media would abuse this officer if he did nothing and the girl was murdered; they'll abuse him now when he tried to act for the best. The girl's loss was a tragedy but the tragedy was of the criminal's creation, not that of the officer who for one reason or another was unsuccessful. I hope everyone involved recovers from this tragic matter.

CT LEO RET @ 5/20/2013 5:13 PM

As a firearms instructor, and former FTO, this tugs at the heart strings no matter what. This officer needs to stop beating himself up. Easier said than done. I would feel the same way, as I'm sure many of our brothers and sisters in blue would. This POS Smith is 100% to blame, he shouldn't have been on the street. Oh, what happened to NY state's new gun laws? I thought they passed all that stupid legislation to prevent this. Oh, wait the criminals don't abide by the laws, stupid me. It's a said situation all the way around. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family as well as the officer involved!

P.Silva @ 5/20/2013 7:19 PM

I just want to say to the Nassau officer that i can´t imagine the pain you´re going through. stay strong and know that cops from across the atlantic, Portugal, the motherland of andrea, are with you too, because we know what you feel...
To Andrea´s family: Os sentidos pesames a toda a família que apenas podemos imaginar a dor que sentem. que descanse em paz.

Rooster Chief @ 5/20/2013 7:23 PM

Bad, bad, horrible thing. That officer would no doubt have placed his life between the hostage and the POS responsible for this. God bless him and help him and that poor girl's family.

NJ LEO @ 5/20/2013 8:46 PM

Condolences to the Nassau officer and the young girl's family. He did the best he could under a very difficult and dynamic situation. He did nothing wrong, this is as high risk as it gets and all happens so quickly-sometimes it just doesn't go the way we want it to. So sorry the officer has to read all the armchair experts telling him how he should have reacted-they have no idea. The only blame lies at the feet of the POS who caused this, and is thankfully dead, and the ridiculous liberal justice system that keeps releasing these monsters into society. God Bless the officers involved and the young girl's family.

Capt. Crunch @ 5/20/2013 9:56 PM

Officer do not blame yourself, you had to do what any of us would do. The only person to blame is that POS Dalton Smith.

Troop @ 5/21/2013 12:02 AM

Keep your chin up Officer. This situation rests on the pos. Also do NOT read the papers or watch the news related to this incident.

Bob @ VA @ 5/21/2013 4:44 AM

Officer - you did what had to be done in an impossible situation. Don't blame yourself for the obvious failure of the criminal justice system in letting this violent predator freely roam the streets. Blame the evil predator, not yourself. Praying for you and the young lady's family.

Charles @ 5/21/2013 5:39 AM

It wasn't an accident. A hostage was shot by the officer. Sorry, but he shot and killed her. Was it suicide by cop? Probably not, the lowlife probably figured he was safe behind the girl...after all, what officer would kill a young female hostage to get at the bad guy?

"The officer acted quickly because he believed his and Rebello's life were in danger" Just how is a quick mag dump not dangerous to Rebello? I'm sorry, I don't believe he deserves a pass on this one, he had other choices.

Major Harman @ 5/21/2013 5:43 AM

We are called upon tomake decisions that no one else would want to make. You made a decision that probably saved you and your partners lives. I know what people see on TV and that is exactly what it is TV. Hold your head high and for the lawyers who will be chasing this story shame on you..If it was your daughter or wife you would call us just the same and hope for the best outcome possible. God has a plan for all of us and nothing is going to change that. Pray for this officer and his family and the family of the beautiful girl who also lost her life due to the city with the strictest gun laws in the land once again failing the people of NEW YORK and their right to protect themselves. Of course the Mayor doesn't have to worry about things like this he is guared by people with GUNS!!!!

Trigger @ 5/21/2013 6:46 AM

What a terrible situation. Unfortunately when we put on the badge we may be faced with these types of situations. There are no words that will be able to confort the officer, however by him/her knowing that they are not standing alone will at least bring support to them.

Trigger @ 5/21/2013 7:04 AM

Charles, I do not know your background and I am not going to question it. But what I am saying is that when crap hits the fan and you have to react somethings things can and do go wrong. I am sure the last thing on the officers mind was shooting the hostage, maybe the suspect moved prior to the officer shooting, maybe the hostage moved. These are things we do not know as we were not there. As a former sniper your window of opportunity sometimes is very small. As a street cop the window of opportunity is sometimes even smaller. We do not work in a perfect environment, so I would not be passing judgement unless you know all of the facts or were standing in that officer's boots. The Russian Spetnaz and Vympel along with some police agencies across this great planet remove the hostage from the equation and consider them as expendables which means that if the suspect is using the hostage as a shield it really does not matter.

P. Burnett @ 5/21/2013 7:43 AM

For the Officer: DO NOT watch media reports or read biased articles in the paper regarding this incident. YOU and only YOU know what happened and the decision that was thrust upon you. When the man upstairs judges this situation, you WILL be GOLDEN!!! Take care and keep the faith!

Chaplain Dave @ 5/21/2013 8:03 AM

I'm sure that this tragedy weighs heavely on the Nassau County Police Officers mind. As a Police Chaplain I ask you not to judge the officer or his actions, if not for any other reason than we were not there and it was not our decision. Lets spend our energy praying for the officer, his family and for the family of Andrea Rebello.

Marshal Fine @ 5/21/2013 9:13 AM

To the victim and officer , you have my thoughts and prayers. Bless you both. Brother.. seek help. .NOW.. Do not be fooled into believing you can handle this by yourself. I want the best for you and know, those who have never had to face this, pray we won't!

Lt. Sal @ 5/21/2013 10:55 AM

This is a horrible situation for any of us to be in and should not be the judge until we hear the story as told from those who were there. This is a decorated cop who I am sure did not want to take the life of an innocent victim. I do believe the root cause was the burglar. The officer did what others cannot and that is run toward danger. My prayers are with the officer and the family of the victim. Charles I am saddened to read your comments and hope you never have to experience anything we as officers go through. Stay safe my brothers and sisters in blue.

blue blood @ 5/21/2013 1:48 PM

To Charles about other choices, I wish your mother had opted for a socially responsible choice instead of giving birth to another oxygen thief. To my brother officer, persevere.

pup @ 5/29/2013 9:05 AM

Being an ex-sniper myself with 35 years on and still in the streets, I concur with >Trigger< statements. see below:
What a terrible situation. Unfortunately when we put on the badge we may be faced with these types of situations. There are no words that will be able to confort the officer, however by him/her knowing that they are not standing alone will at least bring support to them.
Charles, I do not know your background and I am not going to question it. But what I am saying is that when crap hits the fan and you have to react somethings things can and do go wrong. I am sure the last thing on the officers mind was shooting the hostage, maybe the suspect moved prior to the officer shooting, maybe the hostage moved. These are things we do not know as we were not there. As a former sniper your window of opportunity sometimes is very small. As a street cop the window of opportunity is sometimes even smaller. We do not work in a perfect environment, so I would not be passing judgement unless you know all of the facts or were standing in that officer's boots. The Russian Spetnaz and Vympel along with some police agencies across this great planet remove the hostage from the equation and consider them as expendables which means that if the suspect is using the hostage as a shield it really does not matter.

Dena @ 5/19/2014 6:05 PM

My heart and prayers go out to both the officer and his family as well as the civilian and her family. A a retired officer and sniper I can tell you it is very easy to monday night quarter back anyone's actions. That being said none of us were there and none of us were the officer faced with this situation. Yes, sometimes innocent people are injured and die in criminal incidents but there is no way I will EVER believe anyone who chooses a life of service placing their life and family's welefair on the line placing themselves in dangerous and deadly situations would EVER EVER EVER intentionally take the life of an innocent person. It is hard enough to loose a piece of you when you must take a life because not to do so places others lives in harm I can not imagine how this brave officer feels having to live with this tragedy. I am sad for everyone's loss in this case.

AA @ 5/19/2014 7:25 PM

Hey my brother you keep the faith and continue to believe and just turn it over to the Lord. I will pray for you and your family and the family of the female victim. You did what you have to do in order to win a fight. Stay strong and stay in the fight and do not lesson to the monday morning QBS. Keep a positive mindset and reprogram your mind to understand that you must move on with life. Stay away from the negative people and surround yourself with some strong supportive operators. Keep the Faith my brother.

Dean @ 5/20/2014 1:42 PM

My thoughts and prayers to everybody. Let God heal all.

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