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Lawsuit Filed By Family Of Hofstra Student Accidentally Shot Dead By Police

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Andrea Rebello (credit: CBS 2)

Andrea Rebello (credit: CBS 2)

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The family of a Hofstra University student shot and killed by a police officer during a standoff officially filed a lawsuit against Nassau County and its police department Friday.

The family of Hofstra junior Andrea Rebello, 21, contended in the lawsuit that the officer “recklessly and unnecessarily endangered” her life while she was being held hostage inside her off-campus house, Newsday reported.

The newspaper reported the Tarrytown family is seeing unspecified damages from Nassau County and the Nassau County Police Department. The county and the police department would not comment on pending litigation.

Last month, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice issued a 28-page report Wednesday on the May 17, 2013 shooting, following a review of whether police personnel acted appropriately during the deadly confrontation.

Rice said prosecution of officer Nikolas Budimlic, a 19-year police veteran, is not warranted, CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported last month.

EXTRA: Read The Full Report (pdf) WARNING — Report contains graphic language

Budimlic was one of the first officers to respond to the break-in at an off-campus apartment in Uniondale. Police said the officer found an intruder — Dalton Smith, 30 — holding Andrea Rebello, 21, in a headlock and threatening to kill her.

The officer fired when Smith pointed a gun at him, police said.

Smith “kept saying, ‘I’m going to kill her,’ and then he pointed the gun at the police officer,” according to county homicide squad Lt. John Azzata. The officer acted quickly, saying later that he believed his and Rebello’s life were in danger, according to authorities.

Smith was hit seven times, Rebello once.

“Andrea Rebello’s death was not caused by any criminal misconduct by Officer Budimlic. Her death was caused by Dalton Smith’s decisions,” the report read. “Officer Budimlic reasonably perceived threats of deadly force against himself and others and acted accordingly. Though the results were unquestionably tragic, criminal charges under these circumstances would be inappropriate and legally unsustainable.”

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