TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Family and friends of 21-year-old Hofstra student Andrea Rebello said a final farewell at a wake Tuesday evening.
As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, it was a day of agonizing pain and suffering for the family and friends of Andrea Rebello, who died too young and so tragically.
The line of mourners stretched all the way down the driveway of the Tarrytown funeral home at times as a crowd dressed in black filed in to remember a life cut short.
“It’s hard, it’s really hard,” a friend told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith. “Just her smile, her smile could brighten up anybody’s day. She was a complete angel.”
“It’s terrible,” said friend Brianna Henriques. “Nobody should have to go that way.”
One group of young women carried in large framed photos, Smith reported.
“I’m going to remember her every single day. She’s always in my heart,” another mourner told Smith.
“I can’t stop thinking about her right now, I haven’t stopped,” said Greg Famietta, who worked at a pizza shop with Rebello. “It’s tragic, it’s very sudden. Twenty-one years old, she hasn’t seen anything in life yet.”
Sleepy Hollow High School Principal Carol Conklin-Spillane was among the first to pay respects. Rebello and her twin sister, Jessica, graduated from the school three years ago.
“Unfortunately, everyone knows what it’s like to have a broken heart. I have a broken heart today and it’s not going to heal easily,” she told Smith.
Members of the local Portuguese-American community also came to show their support, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.
One man who grew up with Rebello said he would most remember “her smile. She was a fun young woman who loved life.”
Rebello was accidentally killed by a police officer’s bullet during a response to a home invasion early Friday morning in Uniondale. The officer fired eight times, striking the armed invader seven times and Rebello once.
“To those who second guess, walk a day in our shoes and see how easy your decision would have been that day,” said Nassau County PBA President James Carver
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is calling for a full investigation. And the people who knew Andrea say they are still in shock.
“I can’t stop thinking about it,” said Greg Famietta. “Right now, I am thinking about it.”
In the meantime, Rebello’s family, including her twin sister, were grieving for the young girl who was beloved by so many.
“She was just a kind person, and I feel sorry for her and her sister and her family, and I am praying for them,” said frined Nicole Aceevedo.
The funeral for Rebello will be Wednesday at St. Teresa of Avila Church in the Westchester County town of Sleepy Hollow. The service will be in Portuguese.
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