Video Released In Police Shooting Of Pace University Student Danroy Henry

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The lawyer for the parents of a Pace University college football player shot and killed by a police officer in Westchester County released a mountain of evidence in their case on Monday.

The evidence, including surveillance video from a police dashboard camera, shows the chaos and confusion that erupted outside the Thornwood bar after the deadly shooting of Danroy “D.J.” Henry Jr. by Pleasantville police officer Aaron Hess.

EXTRA: Read The Documents

Attorney Michael Sussman said the evidence contradicts some claims made by Hess in the fatal shooting of Henry Jr.

The video shows medical attention being given to the barely-injured police officer, who moments before, fired multiple shots at Henry.

“It’s just hard for us to fathom looking at him on video moments before we know that his life is going to be taken,” Danroy Henry, Sr. said.

It took nearly 15 minutes for anyone to check on Henry. In previous reports, police insisted the student got medical assistance within 5 minutes.  Henry’s father says the video shows what he’s known all along.

Henry, 20, of Easton, Mass., was fatally shot by Hess on Oct. 17, 2010 as he drove away from a disturbance that spilled outside of Finnegan’s Grill after Pace’s homecoming game.

Sussman said the evidence shows Henry was traveling about 15 miles an hour as he left a bar disturbance and not at a “high rate of speed” as Hess had claimed. Sussman also said there is evidence contradicting autopsy findings that Henry’s blood alcohol level was above the limit for driving.

A grand jury cleared officer Hess of wrongdoing, concluding Henry tried to run the officer down. The defense says he was told by a different cop to leave. Either way, officer Hess somehow wound up on the hood of the car, shooting through the windshield.

Audio recordings of police messages from the incident have also been released. The recordings start with a report of a fight at the bar and quickly escalate in tone as officers call in.

At one point, there are repeated shouts of “Shots fire! Officer Down!”

The only shots had been fired by officers.

Officer Hess is suing Briarcliff Wines and Liquors, saying Henry got drunk there before going to the bar.

Henry’s family and defense attorney maintain he was sober and plan to use the surveillance video in a civil suit to prove Hess caused Henry’s death and possibly that he could have been saved.

“Clearly it was delayed. You have to reach the view that had he received medical attention, it could’ve saved his life. We have not yet reached that view,” Sussman said.

Sussman said in addition to the civil suit, significant criminal charges are still possible through an investigation by the Department of Justice on criminal civil rights charges.

Meanwhile, Henry’s father has released a police document indicating Hess could easily have been shot himself by another officer.

The police report says Mount Pleasant Officer Ronald Beckley told a lieutenant a few hours after the shooting that he feared he had shot Hess.

Hess has acknowledged that he shot Henry through the windshield of Henry’s car. He says he was hit by the car and thrown onto the hood and had to fire to stop the car.

Beckley also fired at the car but did not hit anyone. The police report suggests he was aiming at Hess, not knowing he was a fellow officer.

In an email message, Henry Sr. said the document shows Beckley perceived Hess, not Henry, as the threat.

“What actually gets Beckley’s attention is a shooter, not a reckless driver running people over who had to be gunned down to stop the threat,” the father said.

Hess’ attorney did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

According to the document, Beckley told the lieutenant he had fired his gun during the disturbance. He said he heard gunshots nearby and saw a car speeding toward him.

Beckley “saw a person who was dressed in dark clothing on the hood of the vehicle,” and believed that person was firing the shots, the lieutenant wrote.

“Officer Beckley stated that he believed he was going to be killed by the vehicle and that he drew his weapon and fired at the car,” the report said. “He believed he had shot the person on the hood of the vehicle. It wasn’t until after the car stopped that he realized the person he thought he had shot at was police Officer Aaron Hess.”

The lieutenant wrote that when Beckley learned Hess had been injured by the car but not been shot, he “began to cry attempting to hold back his emotions.”

The report does not mention Henry.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Realism for U says:

    Good job raising your kid Danroy…It was your job to guide him….Kids need to know they won’t be given second chances no matter how hard they are. He had no respect and look where it got him.

  2. Yshaggy says:

    How about this …when a police officer tells you to stop…. STOP

  3. Polie State says:

    Police State
    The less you have to be in a situation that involves having a cop deal with you, the better. This guy Henry could be any of you!! It could be an altercation whereby someone fights with you and it is your word against theirs, or a routine inspection stop, when a car accelerator malfunctions, or again any unclear mishap, whereby some bored frustrated police officer decides to you use deadly force. Your out of luck, you’ll always loose in court, unless your rich. You can be dead or in jail, with a felony record. bottom line is that being at the wrong place at the wrong time can be a crime, at best, or fatal, at worst. Words of wisdom, stay home and don’t call the police unless you have money to defend yourself with a good lawyer, for anyone could easily be in this guy Henry’s place.

  4. Polie State says:

    The less you have to be in a situation that involves having a cop deal with you, the better. This guy Henry could be any of yoyy!! Ith could be an altercation wherby someone fights with you and it is your word against theirs, or a routine inspection stop, when a car accellerator malfunctions, or again any unclear mishap, whereby some bored frustrated police officer decides to you use deadly force. Your out of lick, you’ll always loose in court, unless your rich. You can be dead or in jail, with a felony record. bottom line is that being at the wrong place at the wrong time can be a crime, at best, or fatal, at worst. Words of wisdom, stay home and don’t call the police unless you have money to defend yourself with a good lawyer, for anyone could easily be in this guy Henry’s place.

  5. TED says:

    So what did he do? Shoot someone for what? They cant even get their story straight.

  6. Freddie says:

    “”Beckley “saw a person who was dressed in dark clothing on the hood of the vehicle,” and believed that person was firing the shots, the lieutenant wrote.””

    So it seems this “cop” that was on the hood of the car was NOT in uniform. I bet he did not identify himself as a cop either. Hess killed an innocent man and lied about it. Shame on you and anyone else trying to help him!

    1. Truth says:

      in the video, he’s in uniform

  7. ace11 says:

    Henry was the CRIMINAL……..

    God bless the Cops

    1. Stacy R says:

      I’m sorry, but what exactly what was Henry’s crime?

      1. Bill Mahrer says:

        Assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon(1.5 ton car)

        Being a punk kid who thought he was calvin johnson

  8. equal rights says:

    god bless Officer Hess. thank you for taking this piece of drunk trash off the streets
    I hope you win millions!!!

  9. NYCsewer says:

    Good shooting to bad you lose on the street and will in court.When the Police say STOP you better boy..

  10. Anna says:

    Can’t believe the kid was left lying in the street without medical attention for 3 minutes (according to other news stations), which potentially could have saved his life, while all paramedics focused on the officer… who was obviously not seriously injured.

    I knew this case sounded fishy from the start. I hope the family, and DJ get the justice they deserve.

    1. NYCsewer says:

      Hero who protect us should always get medical attention first before the street creatures

    2. Truth says:

      When did he actually die, was it on the street or at the hospital? all paramedics??? the video shows only one person in the beginning who also tried to give him cpr. it looked like it was a cop who tried to help him. it looked like mass chaos.

  11. M.A.D says:

    Everyone knows that Hess is a CRIMINAL together with all the cops involved, the police department of the county, the examiner and all other parties involved. It is disgusting what these individuals do to cover up their acts.

    1. Stacy R says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more… it seems the entire system is backing a maniac killer cop!

      1. Steven from Brooklyn says:

        The entire is system is working properly. When an out of control drunk driver tries to use his weapon {automobile] to assault or kill someone their are consequences. God bless the Police who have to deal with trash day in and day out.

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