Andrea Rubello is shown on the 2010 Sleepy Hollow High School yearbook.(Photo: (AP Photo/Sleepy Hollow High School)
Graduates will wear white ribbons during commencement ceremonies Sunday on the grief-stricken Long Island campus of Hofstra University, paying homage to a 21-year-old junior who was shot by a police officer responding to a home invasion call.
Andrea Rebello was being held at gunpoint at an off-campus residence early Friday when police say the suspect, Dalton Smith, aimed the gun at the officer. The officer, whose identity has not been released, fired eight shots -- hitting Smith seven times and Rebello once, Nassau County Detecitve Lt. John Azzata said Saturday.
Rebello and Smith, 30, were killed. The officer was placed on sick leave. An investigation of the shooting is underway, Azzata said.
"While our hearts are laden with grief, this weekend's commencement ceremonies will go on as scheduled," the school said on its website. "The accomplishments of our graduates must be recognized, and together our community will heal and find the strength to move forward."
Students were stunned and saddened.
"I'm not a police officer. I'm not trained what to do in that situation," student Hayley Kinn old the local CBS affiliate. " It's awful that she's gone."
"I don't really blame them if they truly thought that she was in a situation where she was going to die regardless," added student Jordan Richmond.
Students already held a candlelight vigil for Rebello. Funeral services are set for Wednesday in nearby Sleepy Hollow.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said the police officer involved has about 12 years of experience on the county police force and previously worked for NYPD.
SSmith, 30, had been wanted on a parole violation related to a first-degree robbery conviction. A warrant was issued for Smith on April 25 for absconding from parole, police said.
Rebello was in the two-story home in Uniondale, N.Y., with her twin sister Jessica, a third woman and a man when Smith, wearing a ski mask, walked into the house through an open front door, Azzata said.
The door was left open after someone had moved a car that was blocking a driveway, Azzata said. Smith demanded valuables and was told they were upstairs, Azzata said.
Smith, apparently unsatisfied with the valuables upstairs, asked if any of the four could withdraw money from a bank account, Azzata said. The intruder then allowed an unidentified woman to leave and collect money from an ATM, telling her she had only eight minutes to come back with cash before he killed one of her friends, Azzata said.
The woman left for the bank and called 911, according to Azzata.
Minutes later, two police officers arrived at the home and found Rebello's twin sister Jessica running out of the front door and the male guest hiding behind a couch on the first floor, Azzata said.
One of the officers entered the home and encountered Smith holding Rebello in a headlock, gun pointed at her head, coming down the stairs, Azzata said. When Smith pointed the gun at the officer, he began firing, Azzata said.