Family of New York college football player shot by police reaches settlement

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Family of DJ Henry offered settlement with Town of Pleasantville
Carolina Leid reports from Thornwood.

PLEASANTVILLE, New York (WABC) -- The family of Danroy Henry Jr., a college football player who was fatally shot by police in suburban New York, has reached a $6 million settlement with the village of Pleasantville and the officer who shot him.

The shooting drew national attention.

It was a chaotic scene back in October 2010.

Police opened fire on a vehicle full of college students, killing 20-year-old Danroy "DJ" Henry and wounding a friend who was also in the car.

After years of litigation, Henry's parents accepted a $6 million offer from the Town of Pleasantville where their son was gunned down.

"They felt it was a settlement in the realm of reason, they took it, to monetize the death of a child is impossible. And they certainly don't find it to be commensurate with the value of their son's life," said Michael Sussman, the family's lawyer.

The 20-year-old popular college student was trying to drive out of a Thornwood shopping center after a brawl broke out in a bar.

The star football player from nearby Pace University was not involved in the fight.

Cops say they ordered him to stop the vehicle, but instead he aimed for Officer Adam Hess who wound up on the hood of the Nissan Altima.

Hess explained he made the split second decision to open fire, fearing for his life.

Henry was black and Officer Hess is white.

The case sparked charges of racial profiling, but Hess was cleared by a grand jury and no civil rights charges were ever brought.

Monday night, the Henry family's attorney said the family will use the money to honor their son's memory.

"Dedication to continue to do the work they have been doing on DJ's behalf and in his name which is the 'DJ Dream Fund and Foundation' they created to help young people who don't have the advantages frankly their children had in this world," Sussman said.

The family is still suing the town of Mount Pleasant and town officers who they say failed to appropriately respond to Henry's gunshot wounds.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)