Foul play suspecting in police shooting of African American Pace University football star

A passenger in the car of slain Pace University football star Danroy Henry said Monday that the first shots fired by cops were unprovoked.

“They shot me, they shot me, they shot me,” Henry whispered as cops hauled him from the car and cuffed him on the street, pal Brandon Cox said.

“None of us deserved what happened that night. I’m just devastated at the loss of my friend.”

The account from Cox, who was wounded by the police bullets, is in stark contrast to the police version of events.

Police had said officers opened fire only after Henry, 20, struck two of them with his car while speeding away from a Westchester County watering hole where a brawl erupted.

Cox says the first shots were fired before any officer was hit and that Henry drove off only after being told to move by cops.

“As they were leaving, a police officer jumped in front of the car and started shooting,” Cox’s father, Tom Parks, said outside the family’s Massachusetts home on Monday, shortly before friends and family held a candlelight vigil nearby.

The dueling stories emerged as Westchester County prosecutors and state police revealed they are investigating.

“Witnesses will be interviewed, all evidence collected will be analyzed and video surveillance will be reviewed,” said Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

Mount Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno had little to say about Cox’s account. “That’s news to me,” he said.

The episode unfolded early Sunday, when officers from several departments responded to a fight that spilled out of Finnegan’s Grill in Thornwood.

Cops say that as the rumble unfolded, officers knocked on Henry’s window – and he hit the gas, vaulting Pleasantville Police Officer Aaron Hess onto the hood.

Henry kept going and a Mount Pleasant cop, Carl Castana, was knocked to the ground and injured as he tried to pull Hess off the car, cops said.

Police say that’s when Hess opened fire and was joined by Mount Pleasant Officer Ronald Beckley as the car bore down on him.

Cox said he, Henry and pal Desmond Hines didn’t go to the bar but were waiting outside in the car for a friend when the chaos erupted.

He claims a cop asked them to move the car and when they did, Hess jumped out from between two parked cars – with his gun drawn – and started shooting.

Both cops are veterans: Beckley has been on the Mount Pleasant force since November 1980; Hess joined the Pleasantville department in May 2003. Before that, he worked for the NYPD, which declined to comment.

The bloodshed capped what was supposed to be a happy reunion for Cox and Henry, childhood friends whose college teams played each other Saturday night.

“These weren’t gangbangers – they didn’t hang out in the streets,” Cox’s father said. “These are good kids.”

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0 Comments

  • nancy

    Reply Reply October 28, 2010

    My condolenses to the family of Danroy Henry. These cops need better training so they don’t commit careless errors that cost the lives of others

  • Denice

    Reply Reply October 29, 2010

    I just think that cops are sooo gun happy these days…they feel they are in control because they have a badge, a gun, and they are the “authoritative” figures in our society…vengeance is mine says the Lord…and I pray he has mercy on all WRONG parties involved…

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