The lawyer for six of the students arrested during last weekends fatal shooting of Pace University student Danroy Henry is calling on federal prosecutors to investigate the case. Attorney Bonita Zelman believes that local and state police agencies currently probing the chaotic events surrounding the shooting “are responsible for the failure to train these officers” who shot Henry. “They can’t run around with guns and Tasers threatening innocent college students…You don’t shoot at a moving car when there are innocent passengers and innocent kids all around the area,” Zelman told the Post. But those local authorities countered many of Zelman and her clients’ claims during a press conference today.
Previously, eye witnesses claimed that Henry was handcuffed and left on the road for up to 15 minutes without medical attention while medical teams treated a less seriously injured officer at the scene, and students who tried to help him were either Tasered or handcuffed. Mount Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno listed response times and details countering those allegations. According to him, the first report of a disturbance in Finnegan’s Grill was at 1:19 a.m. Sunday, and the first report of a shooting was at 1:25 a.m. Between 1:28 and 1:30 a.m., officers noted Henry’s “grave condition,” retrieved oxygen and a defibrillator, and took over CPR from an unidentified woman. By 1:35 a.m., Henry was loaded on a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance. The Pleasantville PBA also defended the police officer whose bullet killed Henry, “Officer [Aaron] Hess fired his weapon to stop the threat that was presented by the vehicle and the actions of the drive.”
Students on the scene still disagree with the assessment that local police had control of the situation. “None of it made sense to me…Everything was extremely hectic, chaotic. I think [the police] overreacted completely, [acting like] the situation was much more than it was,” said Pace senior Robert Coulombe, 23. Coulombe, who did not know Henry and claims he was behind his car during the events, said he did not see the shooting but heard the shots after he saw Henry’s car pull away slowly “as if he was being asked to leave the fire lane.” He told reporters, “They didn’t give him a chance to pull over. They could have pursued him in their vehicles. I think they unnecessarily shot someone.”