Statement By Westchester County District Attorney Janet Difiore Regarding an Officer Involved Shooting in the Town of Mount Pleasant on October 17th, 2010

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DiFiore_Janet A Westchester County grand jury has completed its investigation into the tragic shooting death of Danroy Henry, Jr., during the early morning hours of October 17, 2010 at the Thornwood Shopping Center in the Town of Mount Pleasant, New York.

Immediately after the shooting an investigation began into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Henry’s death.  As part of the investigation, more than 400 people were interviewed by Investigators in New York and elsewhere, including as far away as Florida.  Numerous items of physical evidence were collected from the scene and forensically analyzed by experts in ballistics, toxicology, accident reconstruction, DNA and trace evidence.   

The investigation was conducted by four law enforcement agencies: the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, including the District Attorney’s Investigators in the High Technology Unit, the New York State Police, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety’s Forensic Identification Unit, and the Mount Pleasant Police Department.  Also participating in the investigation was the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research. 

Following an exhaustive and thorough review of the evidence, the grand jury, which began hearing testimony on January 10, 2011, has concluded its investigation. Pursuant to an order of the Westchester County Court that empanelled the grand jury sitting in this matter, the following is the only information that is permitted to be disclosed by law:

• The grand jury heard testimony from 85 witnesses.  

• Of those witnesses, 46 civilians, many of whom were Pace University students and were present in the shopping center at the time of the shooting, testified as to what they witnessed at the time of the incident.  The two passengers who were with Mr. Henry in his car at the time of the shooting also testified. 

• Police personnel who testified included four police officers who responded to the initial call of a disturbance at Finnegan’s bar and who were present at the time of the shooting. Also testifying was the police officer who fired the fatal bullets.  He testified without the protection of immunity from prosecution. A second police officer who discharged his weapon at the scene also testified and he, too, testified without the protection of immunity from prosecution.

• In addition to those referenced above, three civilians including a family member testified as to their contacts with Mr. Henry prior to the incident that resulted in his death.

• The grand jury also heard testimony from: (1) three emergency medical personnel who rendered treatment at the scene to Mr. Henry, the front seat passenger in Mr. Henry’s car and the police officer; (2) the emergency room physician who rendered treatment at the Westchester County Medical Center to Mr. Henry, the front seat passenger and the police officer, (3) the Westchester County Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy on Mr. Henry, and (4) the surgeon who treated the police officer who fired the fatal shots. 

• More than 100 exhibits were admitted into evidence before the grand jury.  Included among these exhibits were diagrams, photographs, aerial photographs, medical records, phone records, ballistics evidence, police radio transmissions, and physical evidence collected from the scene. Video recordings taken by a civilian witness, surveillance film secured from two commercial establishments located in the shopping center, and a video recording from a police vehicle responding to the scene that captured some of the events at issue were played before the grand jury.  

• As to physical evidence, there was testimony from additional police officers in connection with the collection and introduction of evidence. A ballistics expert and two accident reconstruction experts, one of whom was a civilian witness, testified.  There was also testimony from six forensic scientists from the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research, where the forensic examination of Mr. Henry’s automobile as well as other physical evidence took place. The scientists included experts in toxicology, DNA and trace evidence. 

• After due deliberation on the evidence presented in this matter, the grand jury found that there was no reasonable cause to vote an indictment.

I would like to thank the 23 citizens of this County who comprised the Grand Jury for their service, for the time and effort they devoted to this investigation and for the careful manner in which they discharged their solemn duty.

eHeziStatement By Westchester County District Attorney Janet Difiore Regarding an Officer Involved Shooting in the Town of Mount Pleasant on October 17th, 2010

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