Police officials in the US state of New York say a 21-year-old female student who lost her life during a home invasion robbery had been killed by police gunfire. According to a statement released by a Nassau County police official John Azzata late Saturday, the student identified as Andrea Rebello was accidentally shot in the head by police officers after an armed man who broke into her home used her as a shield.
The incident occurred in Long Island early Friday when the gunman forced his way into the home that the victim shared with her twin sister and another young woman. According to the police, the man, who was wearing a mask, knocked on the door and burst in as soon as one of the residents looked to see who was there.
Police said that a man was also at the house at the time of the incident. The gunman identified as Dalton Smith, 30, held the twin sisters and the young man hostage, but allowed the other woman to leave the house, apparently to withdraw cash from a bank machine.
The woman then called the police and informed them of the hostage taking at her home. Following the call, the police rushed to the scene and a shooting happened where the armed man and Rebello were killed.
Andrea Rebello was in her third year of university, studying public relations, Hofstra University said.
There have been several fatal shootings across the United States over the past few months, putting the issue of lax gun control laws back in the spotlight.
Every year, more than 30,000 people are shot and killed across the United States. The US averages 87 gun deaths each day as a function of gun violence, with an average of 183 injured, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Centers for Disease Control.