MANHATTAN (CN) – Parents say a Pleasantville police officer shot their son to death for no reason as the young man followed another officer’s directions and drove slowly out of a shopping mall parking lot. The late Danroy Henry Jr., 20, was a Pace University student who aspired to play in the NFL, his parents say in their federal complaint.
They say Officer Aaron Hess jumped onto the hood of their son’s car and shot him through the windshield for no reason.
According to the complaint, on Oct. 17, 2010, “At about 1:20 a.m., upon the direction of another police officer, Danroy Henry Jr. drove his car at a reasonable rate of speed from the fire lane within of a shopping mall toward the designated exit of that mall.”
As he did so, “defendant Aaron Hess precipitously and suddenly jumped front of the vehicle,” the parents say.
“As Danroy Henry Jr. slowed his vehicle, defendant Hess ascended the hood of the vehicle, grabbed the top of the hood, steadied himself and fired four shots at or toward Mr. Henry, who was in the driver’s seat of his vehicle. Three of these bullets struck Danroy Henry Jr., causing his death,” the complaint states.
“No exigency caused defendant Hess to jump in front of the Henry vehicle.
“Defendant Aaron Hess had no reasonable basis to stop or seize of jump in front of the vehicle,” the parents add.
A grand jury refused to indict Hess. The fatal shooting came as Pace students were partying after a homecoming game, according to contemporary press reports. Police claimed that Hess shot Henry for ignoring his order to stop.
The parents seek damages for wrongful death and gross negligence, from Hess and the Village of Pleasantville.
They are represented by Michael H. Sussman with Sussman & Watkins, of Goshen, N.Y.