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Police: Pace football player got medical attention within minutes

By Deborah Brunswick, CNN
  • The fatally shot student was in an ambulance within 10 minutes, police chief says
  • The mother of the other man who was shot had said 15 or 20 minutes passed
  • Local police, state police and others are investigating the incident

New York (CNN) -- The police chief of a New York City suburb disputed claims Friday that officers left a Pace University student who they shot, and who later died, handcuffed on the ground for up to 20 minutes.

Speaking at a news conference, Chief Louis Alagno, of Mount Pleasant, New York, read a timeline of events taken from a radio recording and a dashboard camera that recorded the incident.

He said the recordings reveal that only three minutes passed between the time police reported shots fired and the time Danroy "DJ" Henry -- a 20-year-old resident of Easton, Massachusetts, and college football player -- received initial first aid attention. He said only 10 minutes passed before Henry was loaded on a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance.

Earlier in the week, Donna Parks -- whose son was Henry's friend and was shot and wounded in the incident -- told CNN that police "pulled DJ out of the car, handcuffed him, put him face down on the ground and left him there for 15 to 20 minutes."

Alagno could not say how long Henry was in handcuffs nor at what time the handcuffs were removed, but said that authorities took them off and tried to save Henry's life as soon as they discovered his condition.

The shooting occurred after a police officer came across "a large group of unruly patrons" in front of Finnegan's Grill in Thornwood, New York, and called for support shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, according to a police news release. Some 50 police officers responded to the brawl, which continued after the shooting incident, the statement said.

Officers were breaking up fights, police said, when "a vehicle parked in the fire lane" accelerated. A police officer tried to stop the vehicle, which Henry was driving, but its mirror struck the officer and the officer "ended up on the hood," said police.

Another officer tried to pull the first one down from the hood and the car struck him as well. The officer on the hood shot at the driver, but the vehicle continued in the fire lane in the direction of a third Mount Pleasant officer. That officer also fired at the vehicle, according to the police news release.

Parks disputed the police account. She said Henry and others in the car were waiting for a friend to come out of the establishment "when a police officer banged ... on the window." She said Henry began driving after her son, Brandon Cox, told him that he thought police wanted him to move his car.

"Another police officer with his gun drawn just ran out in front of DJ's car," said Parks, insisting Henry had no time to stop.

Alagno said all the people in the car -- including Henry -- were handcuffed because it was considered a "felony stop" since gunfire was involved.

Authorities have launched an investigation involving Mount Pleasant police, New York State Police and others to determine what happened. The probe, expected to take two to three months, will be "long and difficult," said Alagno, who has been Mount Pleasant's police chief since 2001.

CNN's Brooke Baldwin, Ben Brumfield, Antoinette Campbell, and Jason Kessler contributed to this report.