Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home  >  Topics  >  School Violence

May 18, 2014
PrintCommentRSS

Family of student slain during hostage situation sues county, police

The family of Hofstra University junior Andrea Rebello accused the department of negligence

Associated Press

MINEOLA, N.Y. — A police officer "carelessly discharged" his firearm when he fatally shot a college student being held hostage in her off-campus home, the woman's family alleged in a wrongful death lawsuit Friday against a suburban New York county and its police department.

The family of Hofstra University junior Andrea Rebello accused the department of negligence and said the officer acted "recklessly and unnecessarily" when he fatally shot Rebello and her hostage-taker last year, Newsday reported.

The family also said officers were not properly trained and supervised on how to handle hostage situations. They are seeking unspecified damages from Nassau County and the Nassau County Police Department.

The county's press office did not return a telephone message Friday. An attorney for the Rebello family did not respond to a message.

The lawsuit came on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the shooting.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice ruled last month the officer, Nikolas Budimlic, had no option but deadly force. Rice concluded the death of the 21-year-old Tarrytown woman was caused by a gunman breaking into her home with a gun, taking several residents hostage and refusing to surrender to police.

Budimlic, an eight-year veteran of the Nassau Police Department who had previously spent 12 years as a New York City police officer, was among the first officers to respond to a report of an early morning robbery at the house near the Hofstra campus in Hempstead.

After entering the house, the officer encountered Dalton Smith holding Rebello in a headlock. Smith maneuvered down a flight of stairs and was attempting to leave with the young woman through a rear door, yelling expletives at police officers and threatening to shoot the student.

Smith, 30, had been on parole for his involvement in an armed robbery, according to Rice's report. An arrest warrant had been issued for him about three weeks before the fatal shooting occurred. Smith also had prior convictions for attempted robbery and weapons possession.

Days after the report, a judge ordered all evidence from the investigation into the shooting preserved for use in a potential lawsuit.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press






PoliceOne Offers

P1 on Facebook

Connect with PoliceOne

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google

Get the #1 Police eNewsletter

Police Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
See Sample