PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) – The Pleasantville police officer who shot and killed a Pace University student last October is placing the blame on a liquor store.
Officer Aaron Hess has filed a lawsuit against Briarcliff Wines and Liquors — the store where 20-year-old Danroy “DJ” Henry allegedly purchased alcohol the night he was shot and killed in Thornwood, N.Y.
“Police Officer Hess was doing his job and we believe that Mr. Henry would have responded differently had he been sober. However, he was not sober,” Hess’ attorney Mitch Baker first said in an interview with WCBS 880 reporter Catherine Cioffi. “The law, rightfully so, says if you sell liquor to an underaged person, you are responsible for what that underaged person did.”
Baker says they want to put blame where blame is due.
“We have liquor stores like this who sell to underage people, cater to the college crowd,” Baker said. “It’s against the law and they have to pay the consequences.”
WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi With Mitch Baker
Autopsy results found Henry was above the legal limit for alcohol, but his family says he wasn’t drunk.
Meanwhile, no one at the liquor store has been able to be reached for comment.
In February, a grand jury cleared officer Hess of any wrongdoing in the incident.
In a controversial move, the Police Benevolent Association of the Pleasantville Police Department named Hess officer of the year, in April.
Also in April, Henry’s family filed a lawsuit against Hess.
Henry, of Easton, Mass., was killed on Oct. 17 while apparently driving away from a disturbance that spilled outside a bar. Police have said Henry sped away and hit two officers, including Hess, after a policeman knocked on his window.
Hess said he was struck by Henry’s car and hurled onto the hood. He shot Henry through the windshield. Hess suffered leg injuries.
In their complaint, the Henrys said the car was moving at a reasonable speed and that Hess jumped in front of the car, “ascended” the hood and fired at their son for no good reason. They also said he “steadied himself and fired four shots.”