Oct. 18, 2010
THORNWOOD, N.Y. (AP) – The police killing of a college football player in his car while one officer was clinging to the hood and another was hit by the vehicle is being investigated by prosecutors and state police, the local police chief said Monday.
The student, Danroy Henry of Easton, Mass., was killed hours after playing in Pace University’s homecoming game, after a disturbance at a bar in the New York suburbs spilled into the parking lot.
Police said Henry responded to a police officer’s knock on his car window by accelerating his Nissan, injuring two officers.
The officer who ended up on the hood and another policeman fired into the car. Mount Pleasant police Chief Louis Alagno said he did not know which bullet had killed Henry.
Alagno, who previously called the shooting “horrendous,” said at a news conference Monday that the major case unit of the state police and Westchester County crime scene experts have joined the probe.
The killing occurred early Sunday after police were called to the bar, which is wedged between a pizza place and an Asian restaurant in a strip mall in the hamlet of Thornwood.
Henry’s car was parked in a fire lane outside Finnegan’s Grill. When an officer knocked on the window, the car accelerated and another officer wound up on the hood, police said. The car then hit a third officer, and shots were fired. Henry was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in his car suffered a minor gunshot wound.
The gray sedan sat Sunday outside the restaurant with three bullet holes in the windshield, its driver’s-side front wheel askew and dents in the front panel.
The officers who fired were identified Monday as Aaron Hess, of the Pleasantville Police Department, who was on the hood, and Ronald Beckley of the Mount Pleasant town force.
Henry was a junior and varsity defensive football player at the Westchester County campus.
“Not only are we experiencing this great loss, but we’re also beside ourselves because we just absolutely can’t understand how this could happen to our son,” Danroy Henry Sr. told the Brockton Enterprise outside the family’s Massachusetts home.
Henry Sr. and his wife, Angela, had watched their son play in Pace’s homecoming game against Stonehill on Saturday, attended by about 500 people.
“You’re going to get the police reports. So we’re going to need to do some work on our end to make sure that that’s all factual. … There are a lot of witnesses who say that that’s not the version, so we need to get to the bottom of it, one way or another,” Henry said.
Alagno said Sunday, “It’s something that I would hope would never have happened here, but unfortunately it did, and we’ll proceed with a very, very thorough investigation.”
“I don’t know why they shot him at all,” freshman Kelly Van Wort, 18, told the Journal News.
“Someone told me he hit one of the cops. I don’t think someone deserves to die for that,” Van Wort added.
A campus candlelight vigil in Henry’s memory was held Sunday evening.
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