NEW YORK (AP) — The college student was being held in a headlock by a masked intruder with a loaded gun to her head, police said. Then the gunman took aim at an officer.
A moment later both Hofstra University junior Andrea Rebello and the intruder were dead — killed after a split-second decision that is perhaps the most harrowing in law enforcement: when to pull the trigger.
“The big question is, how do you know, when someone’s pointing a gun at you, whether you should keep talking to them, or shoot?” said Michele Galietta, a professor of psychology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice who helps train police officers. “That’s what makes the job of an officer amazingly difficult.”
She spoke Sunday as Hofstra University students honored Rebello, a popular 21-year-old public relations major, by wearing white ribbons at their graduation ceremony.
Rebello’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday in Sleepy Hollow, north of New York City.
The news that she died from a police bullet came as “a second shock” for the already devastated family, said Henry Santos, Rebello’s godfather.
Her life ended in the seconds that forced the veteran police officer to make a fatal decision, but the questions surrounding the student’s death are just beginning, along with an internal investigation by the Nassau County Police Department.
Rebello and the intruder, Dalton Smith, died early Friday when the officer fired eight shots, hitting him seven times and her once in the head, according to county homicide squad Lt. John Azzata.
With a gun pointed at her, Smith “kept saying, ‘I’m going to kill her,’ and then he pointed the gun at the police officer,” according to Azzata.
The officer acted quickly, saying later that he believed his and Rebello’s lives were in danger, according to authorities.
No doubt, he was acting to try to save lives — his own and that of the young woman, Galietta said.
“What we’re asking the cop to anticipate is, ‘What is going on in the suspect’s mind at the moment?’” she said. “We’re always trying to de-escalate, to contain a situation, but the issue of safety comes in first, and that’s the evaluation the officer has to make.”
Eugene O’Donnell, a former New York City police officer and professor of law and police studies at John Jay College, said the crucial issue may be whether or not police had deemed it a hostage situation. If so, he said, there are protocols police follow to buy time, slow down, isolate and assess.
But O’Donnell said the officers may have had few options because of “an eyeball to eyeball confrontation between the officer and the offender.”
“It may have been too fluid to deteriorate for the officers to do anything else,” O’Donnell said. “It underscores that there’s no two of these that are exactly alike.”
Police tactical manuals are meant to assist officers in making the best decision possible, but in the end, “they’re not 100 percent foolproof,” Galietta said. “In a situation like that, you can follow procedure, and it doesn’t mean it comes out perfectly.”
Hofstra student John Kourtessis told the New York Post that he’d gone to a bar with Rebello and a few other friends to celebrate the end of school. When they got back to Rebello’s house, she asked him to move his car and he went upstairs to get his keys.
When he came back down, he said, Smith was there. He said Smith kept talking about “the Russian guy,” insisting the house’s residents owed a Russian man money and that he was outside waiting.
“He was saying … that he just needed us to cooperate. I said, ‘Listen, we have all this money here.’”
Kourtessis said the students offered Smith computers, jewelry and other items from the house but that Smith kept demanding more money.
The officer who fired the shots is an eight-year NYPD veteran and has been with Nassau County police for 12 years.
He is now out on sick leave, Azzata said.
Procedurally, the Nassau County district attorney would determine whether an officer’s use of deadly force was justified, O’Donnell said. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said Monday it is monitoring the ongoing police investigation.
NEW YORK (AP) — The college student was being held in a headlock by a masked intruder with a loaded gun to her head, police said. Then the gunman took aim at an officer.
Submitted by Sam Nelson
A man who was dead for 40 minutes after suffering a heart attack is brought back to life thanks to a new technology being used in a Melbourne, Australia hospital. When 39-year-old Colin Fiedler died in cardiac arrest, two new procedures allowed doctors to diagnose the source of the heart failure, treat it and revive him without Fiedler suffering any long-term disability that would be expected after being dead for 40 minutes, according to Fox News on May 13, 2013.
It seemed that everything lined up just right for Fiedler, who would have been dead and buried today if this new technique wasn’t available and if the ambulance had delivered him to the other near-by hospital to his home. The ambulance driver gave Fiedler a choice of the two hospitals when they picked him up and he was still conscious.
He was given the choice of Alfred Hospital or another one and he later tells the media something made him say “Alfred.” Luckily for him he made the right decision because Alfred Hospital is the only one in Australia today that offers the life saving procedure. Fiedler is one of three cardiac arrest patients to be brought back to life after being dead from 40 to 60 minutes and not suffer any disabilities due to lack of of oxygen to the brain.
The two pieces of technology that the Alfred is testing is what was used to bring Fielder back from the dead. They used a mechanical CPR machine, which performs constant chest compressions, along with a portable heart-lung machine, which keeps oxygen and blood flowing to the patient’s brain and vital organs.
While the machines are pumping the blood and oxygen, doctors have the time to find the origin of the heart attack, treat it and then bring the patient back to life! The machines actually do the work to make sure the brain isn’t deprived of oxygen while the treatment of the heart attack is underway. This guards against disabilities that might occur if the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. It looks like coming back from the dead isn’t just for zombies anymore.
Submitted by Sam Nelson
Police arrested a Kingsport couple Monday night, after a child they were babysitting drove a car and crashed it into a house.
Police say let the 11-year-old drive.
Witnesses reported seeing a Mercury Mystique careen out of control then smash through a fence, over a swing set, and into the side of a house.
Neighbors say the couple then grabbed several beer cans out of the car and ran away. One witness followed the them to a nearby home and helped police find them.
The pair admitted to police that they had let the child drive, and Taylor told officers that Hammonds had been “drunk since he went to work this morning.”
Hammonds said he was straddling the center console of the vehicle, operating the pedals and steering wheel, while the 11-year-old girl assisted from the driver’s seat.
Hammonds said he drank a bottle of liquor after the accident.
Katrina Taylor was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, false reporting, aiding and abetting DUI, and reckless endangerment.
Landon Hammonds faces charges of DUI, reckless endangerment, driving on a revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to comply with financial responsibility.
No one was hurt in the crash.
A warrant for theft leads to a disturbing find inside one Wartburg home.
Authorities removed two children ages 3 and 6 last week due to “deplorable” living conditions.
According to Sheriff Glen Freytag, deputies assisted Wartburg Police in serving the warrant at the home on Russell Laymance Road.
“It was really a nasty home,” Freytag said. “Just a real bad situation for the children.”
Sheriff Freytag told Local 8 News the conditions are some of the worst his deputies have ever seen. The home had no running water, no electricity and no food in the refrigerator or cabinets.
The children’s parents, Kimberly Christian and Robert Anderson, were arrested and charged with two counts of child abuse and neglect. Christian was wanted for theft.
Neighbors told Local 8 News the couple had been living at the home a couple of months. One neighbor said the kids’ mother would take them to a neighbor’s home to bathe them, once a week.
The children are in state custody. As for their parents, they remain at the Morgan County Jail.
VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — People in this quiet Northern California community expressed relief that there had been an arrest in the stabbing death of an 8-year-old girl, but they were stunned by the suspect: her 12-year-old brother.
“It’s just shocking. I don’t know what else to say,” Patti Campbell, longtime restaurant owner in the town of Valley Springs, told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Last month’s stabbing death of Leila Fowler shook this small community southeast of Sacramento and set off an intense manhunt. Her brother was in the home at the time and told police he saw a man run from the scene.
Days later, the boy appeared with his father and stepmother at a vigil for his sister. On Friday, as speculation in the community built that perhaps the boy was involved, his biological mother told Sacramento television station KOVR her son “could never hurt his sister.”
Later that day, police announced that the boy had been arrested and faced homicide charges.
Aaron Plunk, a neighbor of the family, said the arrest was staggering but he could rest easier now. He said he and his family had been extra vigilant about locking windows and doors, even though the street was being closely guarded throughout the manhunt by deputies who demanded IDs of residents to pass.
“I think we were the safest house in the county,” Plunk told the Modesto Bee.
His mother, Carla Plunk called it “a relief knowing there is not some crazy person running around, saying she’d been scared enough to arm herself.
“It the first time I ever held a gun,” she said.
Calaveras Unified School District Superintendent Mark Campbell said counselors will be available Monday at all schools.
The district “stands ready to provide whatever level of support and assistance is necessary to the Fowler family” and the community at large, he said Sunday.
Police released no information about what led them to arrest the boy. Leila’s brother told police he found his sister’s body and encountered an intruder in the home while their parents were at a Little League game. He described the man as tall with long gray hair. A neighbor told detectives she saw a man flee the home, but she later recanted the story.
Police said there was no sign of a burglary or robbery. As part of the investigation, authorities seized several knives from the Fowler home, where Leila lived with her father, stepmother and siblings.
A day before the arrest, the boy’s biological mother told Sacramento television station KOVR her son “could never hurt his sister.”
“I’ve never seen him be mean to her,” Priscilla Rodriquez told the TV station Friday.
Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz said authorities spent more than 2,000 hours on the investigation before they arrested the boy on Saturday.
BOSTON (AP) — Three more suspects have been taken into custody in the marathon bombings, city police said Wednesday.
The police department made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday morning, saying more details would follow. Police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca confirmed the tweet but referred all other questions to the FBI.
Three people were killed and more than 260 injured on April 15 when two bombs exploded near the finish line.
Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with police several days later. His brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured and lies in a hospital prison.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s relatives will claim his body now that his wife has agreed to release it, an uncle said. Tsarnaev, 26, has been at the medical examiner’s office in Massachusetts since he died after a gunfight with authorities more than a week ago.
Amato DeLuca, the Rhode Island attorney for his widow, Katherine Russell, said Tuesday that his client had just learned that the medical examiner was ready to releaseTsarnaev’s body and that she wants it released to his side of the family.
Police said Tsarnaev ran out of ammunition before his 19-year-old brother dragged his body under a vehicle while fleeing the scene. His cause of death has been determined but will not be made public until his remains are claimed.
“Of course, family members will take possession of the body,” uncle Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. “We’ll do it. We will do it. A family is a family.”
He would not elaborate. Tsarnaev’s parents are still in Russia, but he has other relatives on his side of the family in the U.S., including Tsarni.
Tsarnaev’s father, Anzor, announced plans last week to travel to the U.S. in the hope of burying his elder son, but he told the AP on Wednesday that those plans are off because he is suffering from bad headaches and high blood pressure. The 46-year-old Tsarnaev said he still hopes to go when he is feeling better.
Dzhokhar was wounded in the shootout with police as he and his brother made their getaway attempt. He is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, a crime that carries a potential death sentence.
Russian agents placed the older suspect under surveillance during a six-month visit to southern Russia last year, then scrambled to find him when he suddenly disappeared after police killed a Canadian jihadist, a security official told the AP.
U.S. law enforcement officials have been trying to determine whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev was indoctrinated or trained by militants during his visit to Dagestan, a Caspian Sea province that has become the center of a simmering Islamic insurgency.
The security official with the Anti-Extremism Center, a federal agency under Russia’s Interior Ministry, confirmed the Russians shared their concerns. He said that Russian agents were watching Tsarnaev, and that they searched for him when he disappeared two days after the July 2012 death of the Canadian man, who had joined the Islamic insurgency in the region. The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.
Security officials suspected ties between Tsarnaev and the Canadian — an ethnic Russian named William Plotnikov — according to the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which is known for its independence and investigative reporting and cited an unnamed official with the Anti-Extremism Center, which tracks militants. The newspaper said the men had social networking ties that brought Tsarnaev to the attention of Russian security services for the first time in late 2010.
President Barack Obama said Tuesday at a news conference that the U.S. counterterrorism bureaucracy “did what it was supposed to be doing” before the Boston Marathon bombing as his top intelligence official began a review into whether sensitive information was adequately shared and whether the U.S. government could have disrupted the attack.
“We want to go back and we want to review every step that was taken,” Obama said. “We want to leave no stone unturned. We want to see, is there in fact additional protocols and procedures that could be put in place that would further improve and enhance our ability to detect a potential attack.”
In Rhode Island, DeLuca said Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow met with law enforcement “for many hours over the past week” and will continue cooperating. FBI agents on Monday visited her parents’ North Kingstown, R.I., home, where she has been staying, and carried away several bags.
“Katherine and her family continue to be deeply saddened by the harm that has been caused,” DeLuca said Tuesday.
Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday evening that the state had not yet received Russell’s request to release her husband’s body.
He said arrangements must be made to release the body and once that happens a death certificate will be filed and the cause of death made public. He said it is too soon to speculate on when that might happen.
A 7-year-old boy from Casselton, N.D., who lost his dad also lost his most prized possession — his father’s shirt — on a March 27 Delta flight from Fargo to San Diego.
Cole Holzer’s dad died two years ago when he fell hanging Christmas lights, ABC affiliate WDAY reported. The well-worn Nike shirt that goes with Cole everywhere was the one his dad, Bryan, was wearing when he died.
“Ever since he will lay out and spray his dad’s cologne on it and cuddle up with it and sing the daddy song to go to bed,” Tonya Holzer, Cole’s mom, told the station.
But in the rush to leave the plane when it landed, the shirt was left behind. The family didn’t realize it until they were driving away from the airport.
“I started to cry a little bit,” Cole told the station.
A letter written to the airline by a family friend who was instrumental in the recovery of the shirt describes how Delta employees went above and beyond to get Cole’s dad’s shirt back, even digging through the garbage to find it. A copy of the letter was obtained by ABC News.
Kelly Cruchet’s letter details the phone call to the Delta 800 number and how that employee called all over the San Diego airport looking for the shirt. The plane the Holzers had been on had just left San Diego for Minneapolis. Eventually, Cruchet got in touch with Delta’s Lost & Found at the San Diego airport. Vicki Katseanes, another Delta employee, said she would check with the cleaning crew.
In the meantime, Cruchet sent out emails and posted on Facebook, hoping to find someone who would meet the plane in Minneapolis and see if the shirt was still onboard. Her request was seen by a Delta pilot, Mike McLean, who called her and said he would try to contact ground control and see if they could get in touch with the gate.
“I then got the heartbreaking call from Vicki that the cleaning crew never found it, I thanked her and we ended the call,” Cruchet’s letter said. “A short time later she called back and said she had been in contact with Alfredo, a Delta ramp supervisor. They wanted to confirm their names to confirm their flight and rows and said they were going to start looking through garbage!”
Thirty minutes later, the call came: They found the daddy shirt.
Cole and his mom went back to the airport to meet Vicki and get the shirt. “They cried all the way back to the airport,” the letter said. It was then they were able to start their family vacation.
So what does Delta have to say? Spokesperson Michael Thomas told ABC News, “Efforts made to reunite this very special shirt with this customer and his family is another fantastic example of Delta people going above and beyond for our customers and truly speaks to the culture of our dedicated employees.”
“We all miss Bryan so much,” Cruchet wrote, “and I so wish Cole had his daddy here to watch him play flag football and baseball and basketball and wrestling – but we all know he is watching them from up above (and as Cole tells my son and all his buddies, ‘my dad plays basketball on team heaven!’). I want to thank all involved today for what they did for this little boy they had never met – as a friend stated, ‘Delta allowed a daddy to still be there for his little boy’…even if he can’t be with him on earth. You all went so far above and beyond and the statement I made to Vicki goes to all of you: YOU ARE MY FAVORITE PEOPLE I HAVE NEVER MET!”