UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — A Hofstra University junior sharing an off-campus house with her twin sister and several other college students was shot and killed during an early morning break-in Friday that also left the armed intruder dead, police said.
The shooting at a private house only steps from the Long Island campus cast a pall over the university community gearing up for commencement ceremonies this weekend. Hofstra's president said in a statement that the ceremonies would go on as scheduled.
It wasn't clear who fired the fatal shots or how many rounds were fired, but authorities said police were involved in the shooting, which happened about 2:30 a.m. A weapon was found inside the house, police said.
Nassau County police and Hofstra University identified the slain student as Andrea Rebello, 21, of Tarrytown, N.Y. Her sister, Jessica, was also in the house at the time of the break-in but was not injured, police said. The gunman was not immediately identified.
"It's my daughter, my baby daughter," a crying Fernando Rebello told The Journal News outside his home Friday afternoon. "She was so beautiful. I'm so confused.
"I don't know what to do," he said, declining to discuss the incident further.
The two sisters, another woman and another man were inside the two-story rental house when the gunman, wearing a ski mask, forced his way in, according to Nassau County Inspector Kenneth Lack. The intruder allowed the third unidentified woman to leave, and she called 911. Police provided no other details on the man who was in the house at the time of the break-in, except to say he was not injured.
A law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that the woman called 911 from near an ATM. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
"Today is the last day of finals and this should be a happy day on campus; but it's not," said Hofstra freshman Scott Aharoni of Great Neck, as he passed through the area rife with yellow crime-scene tape early Friday morning. "It's really sad."