BOSTON (AP) — The father of a fatally wounded New York college football player said Wednesday he thinks a lawyer’s description of the shooting tends to favor his son and not the lawyer’s police-officer client.
Danroy Henry of Easton, Mass., father of Danroy “D.J.” Henry Jr., told The Associated Press that his reading of a newspaper interview with an attorney for Pleasantville, N.Y., police Officer Aaron Hess suggests that Hess may have gotten into the path of the car rather than his son aiming the vehicle toward the officer.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.
“It adds to the confusion but it answers a few questions that we’ve had,” Henry said. “I think in some of the earlier accounts it was either intimated or was actually stated that their view of the story was that our son was aiming his car at officers.”
The Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., reported Wednesday that Hess walked from the sidewalk into the vehicle’s path after hearing another Mount Pleasant officer shout to Henry to stop his car. Hess attorney John Grant told the paper that Hess was standing about 50 feet away when he raised his left arm, motioning and shouting for Henry to stop.
Grant told The Associated Press in an e-mail that the younger Henry was told to stop and Hess “had no other available alternative” but to fire because Henry hit Hess with his car and swerved while Hess held on to the vehicle’s hood “for his life.”
“Officer Hess entered the driveway area of the parking lot when Henry’s vehicle was approximately 50 feet away and after another officer tried to have Henry lower his window to speak with him,” Grant said. “Instead, Henry drove off with two passengers toward Officer Hess and rather than slow and stop, sped up, hitting Officer Hess and throwing him onto the hood of the car.”
Police say the younger Henry hit two officers with his car outside a Thornwood, N.Y., bar Oct. 17 after an officer told him to move. Officers fired at the car, killing the 20-year-old Pace University student. Grant said Hess fired the fatal shots while clinging to the hood with his gun pressed to the windshield.
“Had Henry complied with the officers’ directions or stopped once he hit Officer Hess, this entire tragedy would have been avoided,” Grant said.
Grant did not respond directly to the elder Henry’s comments.
He said Hess was treated at Westchester Medical Center with a severe knee injury after being hit by Henry’s car. He said Hess left the hospital because Henry was being treated there and because of the growing crowd of Pace students. Henry later died at the hospital
Grant said his client underwent five hours of surgery at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow for a kneecap that was dislodged into his thigh.
During a press conference at his home, Henry marked off 50 feet to demonstrate to reporters that the distance may have not been enough space to give his son to stop the car.
“We’re continuing to press for the truth,” said Henry. “We’re just telling the truth and trying to find the truth. We have nothing to hide and we’re going to keep doing that.”
Henry and his wife, Angella Henry, have pressed for a federal investigation.
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