WESTCHESTER, N.Y. (CBS 2/ 1010 WINS/AP) — A vigil was held for slain student DJ Henry on Pace University’s Pleasantville campus Sunday night.
Henry was killed in a police-involved shooting at a Westchester bar early Sunday morning.
Gunfire erupted outside Finnegan’s Grill in Mount Pleasant as police checked out reports of a brawl involving dozens of young people shortly before 1:30 a.m.
Police said they approached a car parked in a fire lane. When an officer knocked on the car window, the driver sped off. An officer tried stopping the vehicle but it accelerated and he ended up on the hood. As the vehicle passed by, another officer was hit by the car.
Mt. Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno said 20-year-old Danroy “DJ” Henry was behind the wheel, CBS 2′s Tony Aiello reported.
Henry allegedly struck several cops as he drove away. Police said a Pleasantville officer tried to stop him and ended up on the hood clinging for his life. That officer along with a second cop opened fire and Henry was killed.
In suburban Boston, Henry’s family was filled with grief and anxious for answers.
“He was so quiet, such a good kid, just wanted to be a football player, good grades in school, I don’t understand how something like this could happen,” Henry’s aunt Kathy Hanson said.
And there was a similar reaction from students at the Pace campus in Pleasantville.
“Great kid man, never hurt nobody, excellent athlete, talented kid, loved music, loved football, loved everything, it’s a shame,” Nate Ford, a Pace University student said.
“DJ is one of the most peaceful guys on the team…I’ve seen practices or I’ve seen things escalate on campus, DJ would be one of the people like ‘”I’m going to remove myself from this situation, this is not me,’” Kevin Talbot said.
“Why? That’s the only thing you can ask, is why,” Pace student Phil Pierre said.
“We extend the deepest sympathies of our community to Mr. Henry’s family and friends.,” Pace University, which was celebrating homecoming weekend, said in a statement.
Police said they were responding to a call about a large fight that had broken out in the area. When officers arrived, they observed a “large group of unruly patrons” that had gathered in the parking lot in front of the bar, according to a police statement.
Alagno said the fighting continued even after the shots rang out. Eventually, it took about 50 officers from nearby departments to get the scene under control.
The statement also said that were two others also in the suspect’s car who were also shot. They were both transported to Westchester Medical Center. Two police officers were treated for physical injuries and two others were treated for trauma, according to the statement.
“I’m surprised this is a peaceful area, I’ve been here three years, I’ve never seen it happen before,” said store manager Mike Annabi.
Mount Pleasant police are planning another news conference Monday morning at 10 a.m.