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 Andrea Rubello (courtesy

As we reported yesterday (It Should Have Been A DGU) Andrea Rubello died during a police rescue attempt after a home invader had taken her hostage. As we predicted, police have announced that Ms Rubello was killed by so-called friendly fire. “In a tense confrontation with the officer, gunman Dalton Smith menaces our police officer, points his gun at the police officer,” Nassau County homicide squad Lt. John Azzata told According to Lt. Azzata the responding cop fired eight shots at Smith. Smith was hit seven times and died. Rebello was shot once in the head and died. Apparently . . .

“Smith kept saying, ‘I’m going to kill her,’ and then he pointed the gun at the police officer,” Azzata said. Digging deeper, you’ve got wonder: did the cop have a chance to hold off or back off before the threat to him that led to Ms. Rebello’s death?

Rebello, a public relations major, was in the two-story home with her twin sister Jessica, a third woman and a man when Smith, wearing a ski mask, walked into the house through an open front door, Azzata said. Smith demanded valuables and was told they were upstairs, Azzata said.

Smith, apparently unsatisfied with the valuables upstairs, asked if any of the four had a bank account and could withdraw money, Azzata said. The intruder then allowed the unidentified woman to leave and collect money from a cash machine, telling her she had only eight minutes to come back with cash before he killed one of her friends, Azzata said.

The woman left for the bank and called police, according to Azzata.

Minutes later, two police officers arrived at the home and found Rebello’s twin sister Jessica running out of the front door and the male guest hiding behind a couch on the first floor, Azzata said.

One of the officers entered the home and encountered Smith holding onto Rebello in a headlock, coming down the stairs, Azzata said. Smith pulled Rebello closer and started moving backward toward a rear door of the house, pointing the gun at her head before eventually threatening the officer, Azzata said.

I wasn’t there. And even if I was, I don’t know I would have done the “right” thing. But there are [at least] three questions that need answering.

1. Did the first cops on the scene need to enter the house? 

Knowing there was a hostage situation—not an active shooter scenario—was an immediate rescue mission a good idea?

How credible was that eight-minute deadline? Does that even matter? In other words, how long would it have taken for a SWAT team to respond and should the first responders have waited for SWAT regardless of any supposed deadline?

2. What kind of gun was the officer shooting, how far away from Smith and Rubello was he, what were the lighting conditions and how much training did he have? Did his training include hostage situations? 

I’m not saying the cop should have “made the shot” (killing Smith and leaving Ms. Rubello alive). But the New York police have a horrendous record of shooting accuracy.

As with the Empire State fiasco (where nine civilians were injured by “friendly fire”) the police should immediately review the officers’ firearm (especially the amount of pressure required to pull the trigger), official policy for handling this type of situation, the cops’ firearms training regimen and administrative oversight of that training. The results should be made public.

3. What the hell was this Smith guy doing out on parole?

Dalton Smith (courtesy

“Police described [Smith] as having an ‘extensive’ criminal background.” reports that “Smith was identified by his fingerprints earlier today. He had been wanted since April for absconding from parole. His criminal record includes armed robbery and automobile theft convictions.”

Gun grabbers see these incidents as proof that the government should pass new laws to regulate “easy access” to firearms, to prevent criminals from getting ahold of [unmarked] nine millimeter handguns. Gun grabbers are nuts.

This incident proves that we must encourage civilians to carry the best possible handgun for their needs and train with it regularly, including high-stress simulations. That recipe includes the police.

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  1. I cannot even imagine what the family and the officer involved are suffering through right now. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

    Regarding the 3 questions, #3 is the same one I immediately asked myself when reading the story earlier today. It should be the question the family ultimately asks once they have had more time to grieve. New York can have any and every gun law on the books and it would not have prevented this lawless career criminal from obtaining a firearm and using it in a crime.

    So sad.

  2. What a tragedy. I also read there were friendly fire incidents in the Boston shoot out amongst the hail of gunfire the police are trained to utilize.
    Keep shooting until there is no longer a threat.
    Tragically, this can be the result.
    Sincere prayers for this young woman’s family. I believe Ted Nugent calls these monsters rescidivistic maggots .

    • I disagree. I won’t argue the criminal side, or the court side. I can only comment on the good guy side. These poor cops will always get caught flat- footed as long as we let accountants manage training budgets. Pulling the gun should be the final soultion. There are many modern ways to emerse LEO personell into these type of situations without harm to anyone. Well maybe bruised ego’s. Force on force, shoot-houses and even “paint-ball” can regularly test the officer’s ability. Even “video-games” can be a great brain-conditioner. Pilots and Tankers must put “x” amount of hours in before they even set one foot in a vehicle. If we don’t find creative ways to get officers experienced, without bandages, we will continue to have senseless colateral damage, as well “hair-trigger” attitudes on the streets.

  3. Another example of the injustice to the law-abiding inflicted upon us by the justice system. Who (by name) let this animal out? What real, tangible, penalty will they suffer? Who vouchsafes these criminals when they are endorsed for parole? Do these lawyers and judges sleep freely in a safe bed at night? If so, why?

    • Well, maybe not *you*, per se. Or you. And definitely not the two guys over there. And, “no”, not you either, blondie.

      And these people? Forget about it…

  4. In addition to carrying a firearm legally, we should consider keeping people like this behind bars, instead of releasing them onto the general population.

  5. As usual the police end up using the same old excuse. “Friendly Fire”. There’s nothing Friendly about killing an innocent victim you or your department were there to save. As for what caliber this cop was using, If he hit the guy seven times, my guess is it wasn’t a 45. But this is a good example of having a larger magazine or more then seven rounds as is the law in New York. And was Hofstra a gun free zone? That always tells the criminal their task is going to be much easier.

      • More likely the girl was killed with the first shot. Which allowed the officer to have a clear shot to hit Smith seven times.

  6. Don’t forget the effect of adrenalin dump on the officer’s ability to shoot accurately. The perp repeatedly threatened to kill the girl, then pointed his pistol at the cop. We all know that the effects of “fight or flight” on us is why we train to shoot for the torso, the largest target. Any IDPA or IPSC champ will tell you that even with their skills, a headshot under these circumstances is iffy. Prayers for the victim’s and officer’s family.

  7. The scumbag used the woman as a human shield. He’s virtually 100% responsible for her death. Next in line is Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, et al. The LEO who actually fired the fatal shot bears little and perhaps zero fault. Of course, that won’t stop him from living with irreconcilable and inconsolable guilt. After the grieving family, he’s as much a victim of circumstance as anyone. He never should have been in that situation.

    • Yeah, I don’t want this to happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a tragic ending in the cop’s future. At the very least, a lot of therapy.

    • Looks like he weights about 300 lbs., too. What’s she? Maybe #105?

      Barely enough to shield that watermelon he calls a head.

    • Um, the DA doesn’t parole these monsters. She sends ’em up, but someone else returns ’em.

    • Baloney! There is NO excuse for firing on a guy holding a hostage in front of himself as a shield. Too many Rambo type movies for you and the officer evidently.

    • The LEO who actually fired the fatal shot bears little and perhaps zero fault. Of course, that won’t stop him from living with irreconcilable and inconsolable guilt.

      Really? So if I shoot someone in the face would I bear zero fault too? And if he is not at fault, then why would he feel guilty?

      • As in he didn’t create the situation.

        Of course he is accountable for the bad shot, but it was an accident which occurred in a very fast, fluid and bad place. That sucks, and he’ll probably re-live that moment forever.

        If you’re out hunting and some PETA dude dressed in a deer mask is out there recording video, you’d bear little of the fault associated with accidentally shooting him in the face.

        Get over yourself.

  8. Don’t you find odd (though comforting in some ways) that we need to get the truth about these things from TTAG while left leaning media lies?
    The Huffington Post states in their article on this :
    “Rebello and the gunman were killed during a firefight that erupted when police arrived. POLICE TOLD THE POST that the SUSPECT killed Rebello, and cops killed him.”
    (emphasis is mine)

    Why do suppose this is?

    Along with other posters here, I too have deep sympathy for the officer as well as all the families and innocents that are affected.
    “scotlac’s” post asks the right questions.
    Whoever let this dick out on parole needs some serious jail time of their own.

    • I think that was what was reported initially. From the reports I have seen yesterday and today (from mainstream media sources) the police quickly put a big question mark on who fired the killing shot and, after investigating, discovered it was one of their own.

  9. This sounds like the result of how police are now trained. Two decades ago when I had been an USAF SP, LEO were taught to limit the number of rounds they throw at a shooter. Since then, police in many states have been taught to practically empty their weapons, reload again, and then empty their weapons again. I think this LEO merely followed his training, and unfortunately, he’s going to have to live with it. In times past, if no active shooter, we would have secured the perimeter, called EST (SWAT), and attempted to contact the criminal. Bursting through a doorway with guns blazing was avoided at all costs in the past, for if police did, it was taught that the result would be similar to what happened here. In a way, it is almost like the modern police officer has rejected generations of experience, and instead, they are resorting to tactics learned in a video game.

  10. Man, he walked in thru an unlocked door. The one man in the house was found hiding behind a couch. That house may or may not have been in a gun free zone but it certainly was in a balls free zone.

    All I’m going to say about the police tactics is this. Had that monster had one of my ladies, my wife or daughters or granddaughters, no way was I letting him out the back way with her. Live or die, he wasn’t going to take her off into the night with him.

  11. Criminal has bystander in a headlock, and points his gun at the police. That’s an impossible situation. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The real questions revolve around how we could have prevented this situation in the first place, starting with how he got parole and why he managed to elude capture for so long after absconding.

    • TO: DaveL
      RE: Sorry, Dave, But….

      ….it’s not an ‘impossible’ situation, i.e., damned one way or the other.

      A good shot with a well-tuned instrument could have taken out the perp and saved the girl.

      Too bad you and others—e.g., Glenn Reynolds, can’t ‘appreciate’ the capabilities.


      [God bless our soldiers—especially the snipers.]

      • I am sure you have decades of experience in high stress life and death situations where you go from zero to warp 5 in a few seconds and are are well qualified to tell others how well you would have done in a similar situation.

        • TO: Mike
          RE: Heh

          I am sure you have decades of experience in high stress life and death situations…. — Mike


          ….they do tend to teach US that way in the infantry. Especially if your Airborne and/or Ranger.

          RE: Warp Speed

          ….you go from zero to warp 5 in a few seconds and are are well qualified to tell others how well you would have done in a similar situation. — Mike

          It all depends on the situation.

          Even Napoleon said he had trouble trying to find men with that ‘2 am’ courage to respond from deep sleep to immediate attack.

          Never had that. But that’s beside the point.

          The perp was not shooting at the cops. He was holding a hostage.

          I don’t know all the details of this incident, but it seems to me that the cops got trigger-happy.

          Seriously. Look at the shoot-out between the cops and the Boston Bombers. All the wounded cops apparently suffered from not-so-friendly fire.

          Hell. Where I live, the cops shot a teenage car-thief/joy-rider in the chest after they got the car stopped. Ran around their car and shot him in the chest when he apparently had BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL.

          There are numerous other examples of gross malfeasance/incompetence on the part of the cops. All you have to do is look.

          Damn! Now I’m reminded of an incident in a major metro area where I lived where an off-duty cop shot a motorist in a fit of road-rage. No punishment, as far as I recall.

          No. I’m not happy with the quality of so-called law enforcement.

          If you want to defend them for what they do when they screw up royally, then you’re part of the problem. NOT the ‘solution’.

          The solution being the cops should be held to the same standard of performance they hold everyone else too.

          After all, during my Concealed Carry Permit training, I was told by a lawyer that they’re supposed to be held to that standard. Why they are not is mere CYA.

          Hope that helps…..


          [The Truth will out…..]

        • He walked into the house and smack into someone both threatening the hosage and bearing on him.

          There’s really no good direction to go from there.

          Tat mayhap they should have waited for SWAT and called in a negotiator is true, but the situation was at first unknown – save for the time limit stated by Our Hero – and developed very quickly.

          No doubt this incident will be mentioned in future LEO training.

          Armchair quarterbacking is, however, irrelevant.

        • TO: Russ Bixby
          RE: Heh

          He walked into the house and smack into someone both threatening the hosage and bearing on him. — Russ Bixby

          The cop ‘walked into a house’ where there was a report of an armed invader holding hostages?

          The cop’s a bigger fool than I originally thought. The report I’ve seen said one of the occupants/hostages escaped and alerted police to the situation.

          As you said, “…he should ave waited for SWAT….”

          Where’s the official report on the incident? That might clarify some things.


          P.S. This isn’t ‘armchair quarterbacking’. This is After Action Review…..

    • That sounds like the Hillary Clinton defense to me. “What difference does it make…….” just doesn’t fly, never did.

  12. TO: All
    RE: Heh

    I can ‘nail’ a target the size of a human head at 100 meters with my scope-mounted AR-15.

    Who was the bozo that murdered this girl. I’m confident they were at a distance LESS than 100 meters. And why aren’t they under administrative leave before being discharged and charged in open court for committing homicide?

    If we held the police to the same standard the hold US, we’d be a LOT better off.

    This CYA business in law enforcement is literally KILLING US!


    [It is better for you to defend yourself, then ask the police to do so. They might kill you while trying to save you.]

    • Can you ‘nail’ a head-sized target at 20 feet or less with your scope-sighted AR EVERY time? Can you do it with absolute certainty while facing another gun muzzle? Can you do it when you are scared and pumped on adrenaline? Can you do it with a handgun? If it was your daughter, could you do it with ease while knowing that if you fail, she dies by your hand or that of the bad guy?

      Please. . . Unless you have been there, you do NOT know.

      That said, in my classes I DO teach shooters to shoot until the target is no longer a threat. I ALSO teach them that every bullet fired has their name on it, and if they cannot engage a threat without endangering an innocent, no matter HOW much justification and ‘self-defense’ right they have, they cannot fire. Better to die a hero than live as the coward that saved his own life at the expense of that of an innocent, yes?

      • In a word…..


        But at distances less than 30 meters, I rely more on the red-dot.

        Get a life. Learn how to protect yourself, your family and friends.


        [God is alive…and Airborne-Ranger qualified.]

        P.S. So am I…..

        P.P.S. During Basic, I was able to ‘nail’ a quarter thrown in the air at 10 feet away from me. It was taught—during Nam—as ‘quick kill’. It became ‘instinct’.

        • Wow. Just. . . wow. I’ve never met an infallible marksman before.

          Gosh. What an honour.

        • TO: John in AK
          RE: Heh

          Wow. Just. . . wow. I’ve never met an infallible marksman before. — John in AK

          I’m not a mere ‘marksman’. I’m rated ‘sharpshooter’.

          Wish I had one of those .50 cal sniper rifles. Then I could REALLY test myself out to 1000 meters.


          P.S. I was teaching cadets at Hudson Heights High how to shoot in the early 70s. The other week I taught one of my Bible study group chums to shoot well up at our mountain property.

        • P.S. John in AK

          RE: Teaching Shooting

          You an NRA-type ‘instructor’?

          I’m not impressed with them.

          Had to listen to one during my obligratory CCW training. In my personal and professional opinion, their idea of personal/home defense leaves much to be desired.

          The one I had to listen to sounded almost like a gun-control guru…..22LR head shots were his mantra.

          Personally, I prefer the .45 ACP. Hit them just about anywhere and they go down and stay there.

          [It’s just silly to have to shoot somebody twice.]

      • Bingo! Any decent (internally) shooter knows their limits, and won’t take an iffy shot. Only that person can deem the level of “nessacity”. I have an AR with lazer, and can place a shot within 1/2 inch under any condition(less dead battery), from point-blank to 50yds. I practice these to mirror my AO. In the old days, we had to account for EACH AND EVERY round expended or not. NRA training instilled certain “values” that greatly reduce accidents like this. Yes, all these things do go through your mind under stress. That’s if you train that way.

    • Yeah, the initial responder had a fraction of a second and a handgun.

      My Mosin with iron sights would have done, too – choose which part of the head you’d like me to hit.

      This was not that.

      He perhaps should ave awaited SWAT, in which case we’d all be cracking jokes about “what is the purpose of regular officers?”

      I’m siding with the cop on this.

      We are not chuckling.

      • TO: Russ Bixby
        RE: Heh

        He perhaps should ave awaited SWAT, in which case we’d all be cracking jokes about “what is the purpose of regular officers?” — Russ Bixby


        You can side with the cop all you want. But you’re siding with someone who “should ave awaited SWAT”. In other words….gross malfeasance in my personal and professional opinion.


        P.S. The “(le)” is not about ‘chuckling’…..

  13. This situation is all-around sucky….

    That Scumball shouldn’t have been out on parole.
    That poor girl shouldn’t have been taken hostage.
    That police officer shouldn’t have even been there all things considered.

    Why was this bastard out on parole? How many more like him are out on parole walking the street? Who let him out on parole?

    No one who was responsible for letting this monster walk the streets will ever face any punishment.

    This is just another nail in the coffin of the legitimacy of the state.

      • Yeah, even in quotes, man ain’t the word.

        He must be made of a different kind of Jell-O.

        • We agree on THAT point.

          This character needed a spine made of more than Jelly-Fish…. 😉

  14. Eight shots fired, and all but one hit the target…does anyone else have the idea the girl was hit first, then he unloaded on the perp? Maybe he tried a Taken-esque shot at the guy’s head and shot her.

    • Almost guaranteed. First shot is head shot to girl to her instant death (let’s hope) causes her to full body weight to immediately drop…likely right outta that headlock. Realizing the horror of what he’s just done, he proceeds to ventilate the bad guy…and thoroughly enough so that the perp can’t be questioned (not just stopping the threat, but eliminating a witness). Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad the perp is dead. Still, it would be interesting to hear any audio of the scene if there is any. It might go, “Bang!…Ahhhhhh!!!…….Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!”

    • Almost guaranteed. First shot is head shot to girl causing instant death (let’s hope) which causes her to full body weight to immediately drop…likely right outta that headlock. Realizing the horror of what he’s just done, he proceeds to ventilate the bad guy…and thoroughly enough so that the perp can’t be questioned (not just stopping the threat, but eliminating a witness). Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad the perp is dead. Still, it would be interesting to hear any audio of the scene if there is any. It might go, “Bang!…Ahhhhhh!!!…….Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!”

    • Or “shoot the hostage” and “take them out of the equation.” Maybe he saw Speed one to many times.


      • I just saw that in some movie-LAPD SWAT or something, with Sam Jackson and Colin Ferrel. The movie opens to a hostage situation in a bank, robbers armed with auto AKs. Ferrel and his partner, SWAT team members are in the bank, but have been ordered to hold in place. One robber has a hostage in a headlock, situation is going south. Partner doesn’t have a shot, so he shoots the hostage in the shoulder, then takes out the BG.

  15. Define Irony; girl shot by police in a hostage rescue attempt has Ben Franklin quoted in her yearbook.

    “Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.”

  16. I went to high school with her, NYPD has the trigger pull requirement of 10.5-12lbs, Nassau County does not, most likely M&P 40 or Glock 22 with the standard 5-6lbs trigger pull. Active shooter protocol is to enter and engage, but hostage situation like that, grab the long gun establish communication and call SWAT, by entering the house he cornered smith and this gave him no other option so to speak and the result is the lose of an innocent life due to panicked returning fire

  17. aaaannndddd This story just got pushed off the desk into the trash can at the MAIG office.

  18. This scares the sh!t out of me since I have 2 daughters who will be off to college in the next 1-2 years. They know how to handle and properly use a firearm, but most universities won’t allow them to have one. Scary sh!t right there.

    • I don’t have children, much less college-age girls, but in your situation, I think the conversation might start with, “Never in your life have I advised you to purposely break the rules, but…” and an explanation as to why you feel its necessary in this case.

      It would then move on to OPSEC, and how nobody at school should ever know they are armed. EVER. Unless and until it becomes necessary to use it, let no one find out. If no one finds out, they cannot reveal it to anyone else, whether by unintentional or purposeful disclosure. In college, your “friends” can become your enemies in a heartbeat, at which point your armed status becomes a weapon to be used against you. All it would take is one phone call. So don’t tell anyone. Ever.

    • If they’re living off campus, there’s no reason they can’t have a gun in the house.

      • Except that it’s New York.

        Maybe she was in the process of getting one; it only takes three or four years.

    • TO: SCS
      RE: Maybe….

      This scares the sh!t out of me since I have 2 daughters who will be off to college in the next 1-2 years. — SCS

      …by that time, on-line degrees will be available in their fields on interest.

      But whatever……don’t send them to school on the East or West Coast.

      Think about anywhere between North Dakota and Texas.


      [Education: Replacing an empty mind with an open one.]

      P.S. But that doesn’t happen at most Universities THESE days. So choose carefully.

  19. The Govt refuses to protect us, the general pubic from criminals. The last and only resort for protection is the 2A

  20. The gunman said he was going to kill her… then pointed the gun at the copper…. Yup, he killed her, not by his own gun, but the way others commit suicide by cop.

    The cop will live with it for the rest of his life, haunting him if he has any decency. Of course if he’s no better than most criminals, he won’t miss any sleep over it.

  21. While there are no national studies on the effectiveness of parole, several local and state studies indicate that parole only works for non-violent offenders with little or no criminal history.

    Having just testified at a parole hearing where I was the victim, I can attest to the fact that testimony from the victim(s) and or witness(es) goes a long way toward keeping these thugs out of society. The perp was going to get 3 months of probation for armed robbery. I was not happy with that, so I testified. He has served 12yrs of a 15yr sentence, so far. I will know soon whether he will be released on parole, or held for 3 more yrs. I asked for maximum sentencing.

      • TO: Mosinfan & Russ Bixby
        RE: Say WHAT!!!?!

        Watch your six at 15 years and a day… — Russ Bixby

        That should read….

        START watching your six…..

        …and get a concealed carry permit and—I reommend—a Springfield Armory XDm .45 cal ACP with Crimson Trace laser targeting.


        [.45 cal, because it’s just silly to have to shoot someone twice.]

  22. The cop had to kill the hostage in order to save her. I remember something similar happening during the war in Vietnam.

  23. As a former LEO, I can attest that you feel bad when you kill someone who puts themselves in the situation where it was the only option you had. I cant even imagine how bad you gotta feel for killing the hostage too.

    I hear many people talk about how easy a shot like this would be to make … the guy is 10′ and they can hit a target like that all day at the range. The reality is for most people, even well trained LEO’s (as opposed to those who do their yearly qualification and never see the range again for 12 months) the first shot is always the least accurate. Add in the stress of the situation and a flood of stimulus from your ears, eye, nose and skin and a shot you could make at a comfortable well lit range 99% of the time becomes exponentially more difficult.

    • TO: Mike
      RE: The ‘Stress’ Factor

      Stress can be a vital factor.

      When the adrenaline is pumping and the heart is pounding at 180+….thinks can get ‘different’.

      Maybe the law enforcement and other, e.g., military, types should be trained to shoot under ‘stress’. Hand grenade simulators, anyone? Audio systems blaring people screaming? The ‘instructors’ smacking them on the a$$ with a riding crop at odd times? Pricking with a sharp bamboo skewer? Pepper spray? Maybe some drug that kicks in the adrenaline before they start shooting a ‘Hogans Alley’?

      We don’t even have to use REAL bullets. The Army’s MILES system or better yet, old fashioned, high-powered paint-ball. Force-on-Force training. Those paint-balls are accurate to the distance of an encounter like this one seems to have been.


      [Train for ‘combat’!]

  24. Hmm… the police shot the hostage in the head.

    I guess this falls under “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.”

    I guess it does not fall under the cop’s usual “We are here to help.”

  25. So when are the NY State Police going to arrest the officer for having more than seven rounds in his pistol? (I haven’t heard anything that suggests the legislature has passed an amendment to the law to exempt LEOs.)

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