NEW YORK – A female college student was accidentally killed by a police officer during a gunfight with a hostage who had taken her and her twin sister hostage.
Andrea Rebello, 21, was being held in a headlock by masked gunman Dalton Smith inside a house on Long Island when she was shot dead, Sky News reported.
Police said an officer fired eight shots in total. Smith was shot seven times and the eighth shot hit Rebello in the head. Both were killed.
Smith, who was wanted on a parole violation related to a first-degree robbery conviction and had an "extensive criminal history", attempted to rob the off-campus home occupied by Rebello, her sister Jessica and several other students, AP reported.
He forced one woman to go to a bank to withdraw money and took the twins hostage.
The woman alerted police and a stand-off ensued, police said.
Police said the officer who fired the fatal shots is a former NYPD cop and has worked with the Nassau department for more than a decade, NBC News reported.
Rebello, a public relations student at Hofstra University, was described as a dedicated student.
The university issued a statement on its website, saying: "Our hearts and minds and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, her friends, and her classmates."