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DA: No Charges for Officer Who Shot Hofstra Student

Student was being used as a screen by an armed robber when they were both shot by a responding officer.

With Lanning Taliaferro

The Nassau County District Attorney released a report this week explaining that they will not prosecute a police officer who killed Hofstra student Andrea Rebello and the masked man holding her at gunpoint nearly a year ago.

"In this case, Officer Budimlic reasonably perceived threats of deadly force against himself and others and acted accordingly. Though the results were unquestionably tragic, criminal charges under these circumstances would be inappropriate and legally unsustainable. Accordingly, this criminal investigation is hereby concluded," the report said of the May 17 incident.

Rebello, 21, a 2010 Sleepy Hollow High School graduate, was shot to death during a home invasion of the place she shared with her identical twin Jessica and other sorority sisters attending Hofstra University. Police Officer Nikolas Budimlic also shot and killed Dalton Smith, the man threatening to kill Rebello and using her as a screen.

“The incident last year was a tragedy for the Rebello family and a reminder of just how difficult and dangerous police work can be," said DA Kathleen Rice.  "My thoughts and prayers are with Andrea Rebello’s family and friends as they continue to cope with this heartbreaking loss.”

The DA's report described the incident:

"On May 17, 2013, an armed Dalton Smith entered a home, occupied by four college students, located at 213 California Avenue in Uniondale, to commit a robbery. At approximately 2:25 a.m., one of the students placed a 911 call to report the robbery. Numerous members of the Nassau County Police Department (hereinafter “NCPD”) responded to the location. Police Officer Nikolas Budimlic was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene.

"Once inside the residence, Officer Budimlic was confronted by the intruder, later identified as Dalton Smith. Smith was armed with a gun and was physically restraining Andrea Rebello. Smith ignored numerous commands shouted by Officer Budimlic for Smith to drop his weapon. Smith, alternately pointing his gun at Andrea Rebello and Officer Budimlic, threatened to kill both of them. During the confrontation, Officer Budimlic fired eight shots at Smith, killing him. One of the bullets struck Andrea Rebello in the head. Andrea Rebello was transported to Nassau University Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries."

Enos April 04, 2014 at 12:17 PM
sad for the girl- too bad this piece of garbage wasn't shot and killed during the armed robbery that he was on parol for.
Patch adams April 04, 2014 at 11:48 PM
I thought the police were supposed to serve and protect, this white washes the fact that he should of never entered the home , I hope he's still not on the job
Paul Hart April 05, 2014 at 05:05 PM
I'm no fan of the cops but what would YOU do in that situation. It is very easy to be a Monday Morning quarterback. I'm sure if the cop did nothing and someone in the building was killed you would be criticizing the cops. Trust me he feels horrible.
Massa April 06, 2014 at 12:49 PM
Ivan, I don't know what you do for a living. It is so wrong of you to make those comments.Paul is right, it is unfair to Monday morning quarterback a situation that you will never or will ever be put in. Try putting yourself in that situation, not an easy job. If someone is pointing a gun threading to shot someone and the pointing a gun at you.... What would you do? Please don't believe everything that these reporters put on the news and in the papers.... Half the stuff is incorrect. This poor officer didn't want to go to work and make that decision to fire his weapon. I am he feels horrible and has to deal with this for the rest of his life. The one who should be held accountable is the judge who let him back on the streets after commiting a robbery.

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