But the initial assumption — that Rebello was murdered by the suspected robber Dalton Smith during a shoot-out with police — now appears to be wrong. Nassau County police officials confirmed over the weekend that the victim was accidentally shot and killed by a responding police officer at the scene:
The Nassau County officer, a 12-year veteran whose identity was withheld, fired eight rounds. Seven struck Smith and one hit Andrea Rebello, 21, in the head. Rebello, of Tarrytown, shared the off-campus rental home with three other Hofstra students, including her identical twin sister, Jessica.
Rebello’s tragic death underscores the absurdity and danger of the NRA’s push for more vigilantism on city streets and inside classrooms — “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” in NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s words. Police officers in Nassau County are subjected to a battery of weapons trainings when they join the force, and yet even a 12-year veteran can make a mistake that ends with the loss of an innocent life.
And these kinds of incidents are far from anomalies either. Last summer, police officers in New York City opened fire on a gunman outside of the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan, accidentally shooting nine bystanders caught in the crossfire.