Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nassau County Policeman Nikolas Budimlic Won't Face Charges in Fatal Shooting of Andrea Rebello

Andrea Rebello

Chicago Tribune

A police officer who accidentally shot dead a student at a suburban New York university, while responding to an armed robbery at her apartment, has been cleared of all wrongdoing, authorities said.

Nassau County policeman Nikolas Budimlic was justified in shooting at an armed robber who was using Hofstra University student Andrea Rebello as a shield, a report by the county district attorney said on Wednesday.

The fact that Budimlic accidentally shot and killed Rebello, 21, did not change his justification, the report found.

"While her death is tragic, the law regarding justification is clear: A justification defense is applicable to any use of force, even if that use has unintended consequences," the report said.

Police headed to the apartment in Uniondale, east of New York City, early on May 17, 2013, after getting a call about an armed robber holding people hostage. When they arrived, suspected robber Dalton Smith, 30, grabbed Rebello in a headlock to shield his body while pointing a 9mm gun at her head.

"Smith ignored numerous commands shouted by Officer Budimlic for Smith to drop his weapon," the report said. "Smith, alternately pointing his gun at Andrea Rebello and Officer Budimlic, threatened to kill both of them."

For a moment during the tense standoff, Smith lost his balance and loosened his grip on Rebello when she turned her body away from him. When Smith wobbled, Budimlic fired eight rounds at him. Seven bullets hit Smith, but one struck Rebello in the head.

Rebello was transported to the Nassau University Medical Center, where she died.


  1. So the officer was not willing to put his life on the line to protect an innocent woman. His choice was to just blast away killing everyone. I guess if she had children and they were there, they would have been killed also by the officers "shoot first" policy.

  2. Mike, I believe its pretty much a standard that when the police arrive into a situation like this, no one leaves. This includes hostages and bad guys. The police will let things take as long as needed as long as there is no immediate threat to anyone. The best solution to this type of situation is a rifle bullet to the brain of the hostage taker, but things were going bad quickly by the sounds of it, and I'm not going to fault the officer. He will be living with the decision he made for the rest of his life.
    As for your excessive force tag, a handgun is a reactive weapon and you shoot until the threat is stopped. People don't always fall down with a single shot, even to the torso. That being said, this officer displayed much better marksmanship than the last pair of NYPD officers we discussed.

    "Another officer recalled Smith grabbing Rebello by the hair and yelling, “What now? I’m going to kill her! I’m getting out of here!”

    1. Yeah, except they didn't kill anybody.

    2. I'm impressed that you can turn bad marksmanship and poor fire discipline into a good thing Mike.

    3. Which would you say was the "good thing?"