PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Previously confidential materials released Monday in relation to the death of Pace University student DJ Henry paint a chaotic scene in the Thornwood Shopping Center as Henry was shot and killed by Pleasantville Police Officer Aaron Hess in October 2010.
Laura Sardilli, a Pace University graduate student studying biology at the time of the incident, was a witness and provided Henry with CPR after he was handcuffed on the ground.
“Chaos, there were not enough cops, they were trying to keep everyone back.” said Sardilli in a sworn statement describing the scene.
Sardilli said in her statement she attended to Henry as responding emergency medical personell attended to Hess, who had a severe, but not life-threatening knee injury.
Ian Coreth, a Mount Kisco resident who was 23 years old at the time of the shooting, gave a witness testimony as he saw the scene unfold as a bystander outside of Finnegans Bar & Grill.
“The police had no control over the situation, nor did they properly attend to the gunshot victims once out of the car,” Coreth said in a sworn statement. “They didn't provide any basic medical treatment or resuscitation.”
The materials were released by Michael Sussman, attorney for the family of DJ Henry, after federal judge George Yanthis ruled Thursday in White Plains the previously confidential audio, video and written statements could be made available to the public. Yanthis said the police departments involved in the incident did not show cause to keep the information confidential.
In a statement issued by Mount Pleasant Police Officer Ronald Gagnon, the responding officer pulled his patrol car behind Henry’s Nissan Altima and rang his police horn twice in an effort to have Henry move his car from the fire lane in which he was parked. After the car remained still, Gagnon said he exited his vehicle and knocked on the driver’s window three times before the vehicle moved, in which he then says he ordered it to stop. Gagnon said he then saw Hess on the hood of Henry’s car and heard approximately four gun shots.
“As I approached the driver’s side of the Altima, a Pleasantiville Police Officer pulled the driver out of the vehicle through the driver’s side door and put him on the ground on his back. I secured my fire arm and then rolled the driver onto his stomach and placed handcuffs on him and had a hand on him,” Gagnon said in a sworn statement about assessing the situation after Henry was shot. “I then got up from my position when a group of approximately six males started coming toward me. I moved toward them and made them move further back. I then went back to the driver and rolled him over and saw some blood on him. I then went to one of the Mount Pleasant patrol cars and to get the first aid kit.”
Brandon Cox, who was sitting in the passenger seat of Henry’s car and who was shot in the left bicep, said in a sworn statement that fogged windows caused a sight issue inside of the car moments before shots were fired.
“No one saw anything, it was quiet, the music was off, the windows were all up, the windows had fogged up when they got in the car.” said Cox in a sworn statement.
One statement by Mount Pleasant Police Lieutenant Robert Milambro said it took nearly an hour to gain control of the scene after shots were fired.
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