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Grand jury: No indictment in police shooting of college student

By Jessica Naziri, CNN
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Fair look at son's killing 'impossible'
  • 20-year-old college student Danroy Henry Jr. was shot and killed in October
  • Police said the car was fired upon after it struck an officer
  • A grand jury said Monday there was 'no reasonable cause' to indict

New York (CNN) -- A grand jury said Monday that a police officer did not commit a crime when he killed a Pace University football player in a confused series of events last year, according to the the district attorney's office.

Twenty-year-old Danroy "D.J." Henry Jr. was shot by police during the early hours of October 17 outside a bar at a shopping center in the town of Thornwood, New York, according to a police statement.

"The grand jury found that there was no reasonable cause to vote an indictment," Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a statement.

Henry's father, Danroy Henry Sr., said he would continue to push for a federal probe into the death of his son.

"There are no words to express our disappointment in the grand jury's decision to issue a no true bill in the case of our son's killing," the Henry family said in a written statement.

The incident occurred after a police officer came across "a large group of unruly patrons" brawling in front of Finnegan's Grill in Thornwood, and called for support, according to a police press release shortly after the incident.

Some 50 police officers, including some from the nearby town of Mount Pleasant, 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.

The officer on the hood shot at the driver, but the vehicle continued in the fire lane in the direction of another officer. That officer also fired at the vehicle, according to the police press release.

But Donna Parks -- whose son was a friend of Henry's and who was shot and wounded in the incident -- disputed the police account in an interview with CNN shortly after the shooting.

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.

Parks 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."

In October, Chief Louis Alagno of the Mount Pleasant police said that officers handcuffed Henry -- a resident of Easton, Massachusetts-- not realizing that he had been shot.

Alagno said authorities then removed Henry's handcuffs and tried to save his life as soon as they discovered his condition.

The Henry family lawyer, Michael Sussman, has called for a murder indictment against the officer who shot Danroy Henry Jr.

"We have no choice but to believe that evidence was either withheld or mishandled during the grand jury proceedings... District Attorney DiFiorie and her office [were] more concerned about keeping us shielded from the truth [and] yielded an outcome we predicted," the Henry family said in a written statement.

According to the statement released by DiFiore, the grand jury heard testimony from 85 witnesses and more than 100 exhibits. In addition, medical records, phone records, ballistics evidence, and police radio transmissions were collected from the scene.