UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – While critics have questioned the actions of the Nassau County police officer who accidentally killed a 21-year-old Hofstra University student, police union officials have called him “a great cop who did the right thing.”
“Our hearts go out to the family of the victim here, (Andrea) Rebello,” said Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James Carver.READ MORE: New York State Legislature Votes To Curb Gov. Cuomo's Emergency Powers
But while Carver said he understands why many – including Rebello’s own family members – are questioning how the Hofstra University student was accidentally killed, he said the officer did the right thing.
“To those who second guess, walk a day in our shoes and see how easy your decision would have been that day,” Carver said.
He said the police department’s job is to get inside and protect as many people as possible.
“[He’s being] second guessed and criticized by those that never went to a police academy, never once responded to a call of a man with a gun,” he said. “People that have never worn this uniform, never put on a bullet-proof vest, never went into a house where someone is pointing a gun at their face.”
Carver added that there is only one person to blame for the tragedy.
“And that’s the ex-con that was on parole,” Carver said Tuesday.
The staunch support for Officer Nikolas Budimlic, came after Rebello’s godfather criticized police for not waiting for hostage negotiators.