Why Did the Policeman Shoot Eight Times?


The death of Andrea Rebello at Hofstra University was an occurrence that is actually becoming more rare all the time. Gun violence is, apparently, decreasing and violent crimes are being reduced all over the country. But this tragedy has taken a serious detour into an area that transcends a discussion about crime and guns.

Rebello was, apparently, shot by the police officer who killed the man who was holding her hostage. Dalton Smith, a violent criminal who had in his possession a gun with no serial numbers, was threatening to kill Rebello. The police officer responded and opened fire when the gun was pointed at him.

This is where you have to ask--why eight shots? Wasn't it possible to put Smith down with fewer shots than that? Was there a struggle in a closed or confined area? He had her in a headlock--should the police officer have backed away? Should he have fired at all?

The police officer hit Smith seven times, but hit Rebello once in the head. If he shot her in the head by accident, while trying to put Smith down, okay. There is probably a reasonable scenario where this could have happened. But the two witnesses who were there are dead and the police officer fired eight times.

It would be interesting to see if someone can speak to what happened. I have no doubt in my mind that Smith should have been shot; I'm left wondering why it took eight shots to solve this incident. Would a single, non-lethal shot have been better?

If so, we need to find that weapon and see if we can get the police to use that from now on.