Read the latest story on this tragic case here:
Original story below.
Tragedy struck Hofstra University overnight on a ordinarily quiet residential street near the Long Island campus. Andrea Rebello, a junior sorority girl whose twin sister also attends the school, was shot dead inside her residence during a failed robbery. According to the New York Post, the 21-year-old was killed by a masked gunman while her sister was in the house.
The overnight shooting stunned students at Hofstra, who were completing final exams and preparing for the summer break. Investigators are still trying to fill in several holes about what happened inside the home the Rebello twins shared with sorority sisters.
Here’s what we know so far about this shocking story.
1. Both Rebello and the Gunman were Killed in a Shootout
Both the victim and suspect were shot during a firefight that erupted when police arrived at the scene. Police have said that the suspect killed Rebello and the gunman was killed by cops.
Although the identity for the gunman is still unknown, police initially said the shooter doesn’t attend the school. Her twin sister, who was inside the house at the time of the break-in, was not hurt and is currently with family.
2. It Was a Botched Robbery
The suspect reportedly knocked on the door of the victim’s home at 2:20 a.m and forced his way in. Inside the home was Andrea Rebello, her twin sister, one of their boyfriends and another woman. According to the Daily Mail, a neighbor who lives four houses away said she had heard what sounded like fighting coming from the home. She ignored it as first, believing it was rowdy students coming home from a bar.
The gunman reportedly held them hostage for a short time and let one of the hostages (an unidentified woman) out to get cash from an ATM. According to the Post, the suspect was “not satisfied with just what was in the house” and said he needed more money. The unidentified woman called 911, and police showed up at the house shortly after.
3. Her Hometown is “Heartbroken”
Rebello — who majored in public relations, belonged to the Beta Sigma Pi sorority and lived with sorority sisters — was originally from Tarrytown in Westchester County, New York.
Carol Conklin-Spillane, principal at Rebello’s high school, Sleepy Hollow High, told the Journal News:
It’s just very hard to imagine that this lovely young life could be gone. She’s a lovely young woman; she and her sister were terrific kids all through high school. What was special about them was they were each other’s best friends and twins. We are just heartbroken.
Neighbor Jack Phelan said:
These parents were unusually dedicated to those two girls. They were concerned they had the best of everything.
4.She Had a Blog About Recipes
Rebello had a blog where she wrote about recipes for holiday desserts. Her blog’s bio reads:
So I guess I’ll tell you all a little bit about me since this is my blog and all…. My name is Andrea (obviously), and I am currently a Junior at Hofstra University. I am a Public Relations major, and a Sociology minor. I’m 20 years young and originally from Westchester, NY. I’m 100% Portuguese and have an identical twin sister so I guess that makes me kind of unique? I thought it would be cool to make a blog on different holiday sweets and treats, and I’m actually gonna attempt to make all of them (wish me luck)… I’m not really good at this whole “blogging” thing, so don’t judge! Enjoy… :-)
She also had an Instagram account:
5.Friends and Students Have Expressed Their Sorrow on Twitter
Hofstra’s president, Stuart Rabinowitz, issued a statement confirming that a student had been killed:
The Nassau County Police have notified us that early this morning a Hofstra student was killed during a tragic crime which took place in a rental house off campus. The police investigation is ongoing, and we do not yet know all of the relevant details.
What we do know is that a young member of the Hofstra family has been taken from us in a senseless act of violence. Our hearts and minds and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, her friends, and her classmates.
While our hearts are laden with grief, this weekend’s commencement ceremonies will go on as scheduled. The accomplishments of our graduates must be recognized, and together our community will heal and find the strength to move forward.
Several acquaintances and fellow students of Rebello honored her memory on Twitter:
Wtf RIP Andrea Rebello, I remember when I used to go to Sleepy Hollow and me and my friends would be in awe of you and your sisters beauty:(
— Cosmonaut Bruv(@SebMoji) May 17, 2013
I didn’t know Andrea Rebello but she was a part of the Hofstra family and community. My condolences go out to her family and friends. #RIP
— Quin Patterson (@QuinPatterson) May 17, 2013
Life has its ups and downs, but a low blow like that requires all the support from friends, family. RIP Andrea & stay strong Rebello family
— Jorge Alvarez (@J_Alvarez593) May 17, 2013