Hofstra University on Long Island is in mourning today after a student living in off-campus housing was killed during a terrifying home invasion. Andrea Rebello, 21, was killed by police fire after ex-con Dalton Smith allegedly used Rebello as a human shield, and screamed, "I'm going to kill her." He had broken into the home Rebello shared with her twin sister earlier Friday morning. He was also killed in the gun fire.
The tragedy is made even more horrific by the fact that Rebello was a twin. Smith allegedly forced his way in after seeing the twins spending money at a local bar and followed them home. Now her sister will forever live with losing someone who was clearly both her sister and her best friend. All for a few bucks.
Two other people were present in the home during the invasion, one of whom was allowed to leave, and it's thought that she called 9-1-1 and alerted the police.
With a situation this sad, there is always the coulda, woulda, shoulda. My heart breaks for Jessica Rebello, though. Having just read Her: A Memoir by Christa Parravani, I know the loss of an identical twin is a unique blow. There is something about that bond, that sisterhood that almost makes it as if you lost yourself.
I don't have a twin, but I can imagine that if you spend your whole life feeling like you are looking into a mirror and having someone by your side, suddenly being alone will be a shock. These two were clearly especially close given they chose to live together even after high school graduation when they clearly had other options.
This is just a horrific story. The cop has taken a sick leave and I am sure is full of guilt. Still, he can't blame himself. When a gun was turned on him, what choice did he have? The perp might have killed her anyway.
This story is one that will sit with me for a long time. So, so sad for this family.
Do you think the cop and girl did the right thing?
Image via Editor B/Flickr