Tarrytown remembers Hofstra shooting victim

May 17, 2013 3:23:59 PM PDT
Just outside a home in Tarrytown sits a police car. An ominous sign, after a neighbors saw a flurry of activity in the middle of the night.

"I could not visualize that would happen," said Bank, "I thought maybe it was a break-in in the middle of the night."

The residents suddenly left, neighbor Harris Bank says, but it wasn't until later that he saw new reports of the tragic shooting death of a Hofstra student, who Eyewitness News has learned is Andrea Rebello, and who Bank says is his neighbor.

"My prayers are with them. I will try and help them out. It will probably be tough going for awhile," added Bank.

Just doors away, other neighbors and friends are reacting with shock and grief as they hear of the tragic death of the 21-year-old, whose twin sister, Jessica, was also caught in the middle of the horror of what police describe as a home invasion.

"I am heartbroken by this, it's terrible," said neighbor Jack Phelan.

The family, Phelan says has only lived in Tarrytown for about five years, and are friendly and outgoing.

Both Andrea and her sister, Jessica, came up through the Sleepy Hollow school system. Carol Conklin-Spillane was their high school principal, and like others, remember the students as a "matched set".

"Andrea was just a wonderful all-around high school kid, who came to school, did her homework, and worked hard," said Conklin-Spillane.

Her loss is still difficult for many tocomprehend.

"I'm still not ready to fully absorb that this horror was perpetrated on this lovely young woman," adds Conklin-Spillane.

Andrea was a PR major and sociology minor at Hofstra University in Uniondale.

Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz released a statement saying , "our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, and her friends, and to her classmates."

Andrea recently started her own blog where she wrote about making holiday desserts with her family.

Her grieving mother and father had no words when Eyewitness News tried to speak with them today.

The same feeling of sadness is now weighing over the Hofstra campus on a day that was supposed to be a joyous one ? the last day of finals and the beginning of graduation weekend.