Tragedy at Hofstra: Student shot and killed during home invasion

Posted at 10:52 PM, May 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-17 22:52:19-04

Uniondale, LONG ISLAND (PIX11) — This tidy Cape Cod style home on California Ave — an off campus sorority house just down the street from Hofstra University’s main entrance — is the last place where you’d expect to find a homicide investigation.

“During the day you would never think that such a bad area. I know I was actually asked to live off campus. But because of the incidents that have happened, I declined it because I didn’t want to risk anything. To me it’s just a…it’s a real surprise because it’s just one block away from the campus”, freshman Melissa Walsh told PIX11.

Nassau County Police say a masked man armed with a pistol pushed his way in through the front door 2:30 Friday morning.

Inside were twins Andrea and Jessica Rebello, a third woman, and a man.

Investigators say the suspect ordered that third woman to go to a nearby ATM while he held the others hostage.

An eyewitness told PIX11, “All of a sudden you just hear screams. And there was like a girl screaming and a guy screaming at her. And it was just awful.”

But the young woman had the presence of mind to call 911 while she was out, which triggered a massive police response to the home.

A gunfight then broke out between police and the unidentified suspect.

He was shot and killed but in the midst of all the chaos, so was 21-year-old Andrea Rebello.

It’s unclear if the gunman killed the Hofstra junior on the last day of the semester or if she was accidentally shot by police gunfire.

A spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department told PIX11, “At this time it would be premature for me to say that. We are doing a thorough investigation of the incident.”