The uncle of a Pace University football player from Easton fatally shot early today by police outside of a bar in New York State, called his nephew "a wonderful kid," and said his family was "devastated."
Danroy Henry, 20, was a Pace University student and varsity football player who graduated from Oliver Ames High School in 2007.
He was shot and killed by police early this morning outside of a bar in Mount Pleasant, N.Y., located about 35 miles north of New York City, according to police and university officials.
Henry was behind the wheel of a parked car when police arrived at Finnegan's Grill, in a neighborhood called Thornwood, police said. He allegedly attempted to flee in the vehicle when officers breaking up a nearby brawl approached him.
Police from Mount Pleasant said in a statement that one of their officers approached Henry's vehicle, which was parked in a fire lane, and Henry sped away when the officer knocked on the driver's window.
Then a police officer from Pleasantville, another section of Mount Pleasant, then tried to stop the car, according to police. But the driver, identified by Pace as Henry, kept accelerating and struck the officer who landed on the hood of the vehicle.
A second Mount Pleasant officer tried to grab the Pleasantville officer from the hood, police said, but that officer was also struck by the car.
The Pleasantville officer, still clinging to the hood, then fired at Henry, the statement said.
The car headed towards another Mount Pleasant officer, who fired at the vehicle, police said, and the car came to a stop after striking a Mount Pleasant cruiser. Authorities did not identify by name which police officers fired the shots.
Henry was pronounced dead at the scene, police said, and a passenger in his car sustained a minor gunshot wound. The passenger was not a Pace student, the university said.
Henry's great-uncle Kevin F. Murphy of Brockton said Henry's parents, who were notified about 3:30 a.m. this morning and left immediately for New York, were "devastated" by the news.
"When you send your child to school, you don't expect this to happen," said Murphy.
He said his nephew -- who went by "D.J." -- was the oldest of three; he had two younger siblings who are high school-age.
"We're just shocked and stunned. Danny was just a wonderful kid with a bright future ahead of him, and just a gentleman. A real gentleman," Murphy said.
Henry's aunt, Maggie Murphy, called her nephew's death "a terrible, terrible tragedy that we?re going through."
"A great kid was murdered," she said.
Four police officers were hurt in the incident, according to the statement. All the injured parties were taken to Westchester Medical Center. Police said two officers were being treated for injuries and two others are being treated for trauma.
Pace University President Stephen J. Friedman said in a statement that the school extends its condolences to Henry's family and friends.
Henry was a junior studying business management and was recruited from Iona College in New York to play football. His first semester at Pace was Fall 2009.
In Easton last night, the community was grieving the loss of a young athlete "who was involved in the fabric of school life beyond athletics," said Wes Paul, principal of Oliver Ames High School, where Henry graduated in 2007.
"He was a well-respected young man," said Paul. Henry played football and basketball, and ran track, while at school, the principal said.
"He had a great personality, a warm smile, and as his [football] coach said when we were talking earlier today, a very generous heart," Paul said. "I wanted to express to the Henry family that they are in our thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time.
Mount Pleasant police said the Westchester County Police crime scene unit is investigating and Mount Pleasant Police detectives are interviewing witnesses.
A vigil for Henry is scheduled for tonight at 9 p.m. on Pace's Pleasantville campus, the school said.
Photo courtesy of Pace University.
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