A gunman broke into the off-campus house, holding a Hofstra University student, Andrea Rebello, her twin sister and two others hostagem until police arrived. However, during the gun fight the criminal and his victim were both killed.
Jessica Rebello, Andrea’s best friend and constant companion, was held hostage with her sister by the gunman until Nassau County police arrived and the gunfire started, reports The New York Daily News.
Victoria Dehel, a neighbour of Andrea Rebello, revealed to reporters that she heard shouting around 2 a.m. in their California Avenue neighborhood in Long Island.
At first is sounded like ‘a bunch of drunk college students,’ she said. “And then the screaming just got worse and worse and worse. And then we heard thuds, like five bangs.”
The witness also added that she and her boyfriend stepped onto their porch and they could hear what sounded like a woman pleading for her life, just as police cars raced down the street.
“I turned to my boyfriend and I said, “I think someone just got murdered.” It was awful,” she said.
The 21-year-old victim stayed at home with three others, when an armed bandit wearing a ski mask broke through the front door at 2:20 a.m. The home is just a block from the campus.
The suspect, who was not a student at the university, rushed to the second floor of the house and held the residents hostage, but later allowed one of the women to leave the home to withdraw money from an ATM.
The escaped hostage immediately called 911 and briefly reported that the intruder had a silver handgun pointed at her friend’s head in a second-floor bedroom. She added that there were multiple hostages.
When police arrived at the stage, shots went off, sais Nassau County Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lack. It was not clear who fired, but a law enforcement source suggested it appeared the suspect killed Rebello and the police then killed him.
It’s also unknown whether Andrea’s twin sister witnessed the killing, but police confirmed that her sister had remained in the home while the other girl was allowed outside.
“We don’t know [the suspect’s] motive at this time but it appears to be a robbery,” Chief Rick Capece said in a press conference on Friday.
The twins’ father who reunited with his second daughter, said of her sibling: “It’s my daughter, my baby daughter. She was so beautiful. I’m so confused. I don’t know what to do.”
Andrea was a junior at Hofstra studying Public Relations and Sociology and had attended Sleepy Hollow High School alongside her sister, inform The Daily Mail.
“I’m 100% Portuguese and have an identical twin sister so I guess that makes me kind of unique?” she wrote on her blog.
Principal Carol Conklin-Spillane described the killed as devoted to her family who are close to other members of the Portuguese community who live in the area.
“She had a devotion to family and sense of purpose and of opportunity,” she said.
The funeral will be held at St. Teresa of Avila Church in Sleepy Hollow and will be officiated by the Rev. Osvaldo Franklin, of Our Lady of Fatima in Yonkers, who gave the twins their first communion.