THORNWOOD, N.Y. – Former Mount Pleasant Police Officer Ronald Beckley said in a sworn deposition released over the weekend that he heard Pleasantville Police Officer Aaron Hess fire his weapon before seeing him jump on the hood of DJ Henry’s car in the October 2010 incident that resulted in the Pace University student's death.
Beckley, now retired, said he turned toward Hess after hearing the initial gun shot and fired one shot at Hess after the Pleasantville Officer fired his gun several more times into Henry’s car.
“I was shooting at a person that I thought was the aggressor and was inflicting deadly physical force on another,” Beckley said in the deposition.
A transcript of the deposition was released over the weekend by Michael Sussman, lawyer for Henry’s family.
Beckley said in the deposition that he did not hear tires screeching or a car horn before the shots were fired. Beckley also said that he originally did not recognize that Hess was a police officer. Beckley's statement contradicts a deposition by Hess in which Hess said he was struck by Henry’s car before he fired his weapon.
Beckley also said he was misquoted about the incident by Mount Pleasant Lt. Brian Fanelli in a sworn statement made by Fanelli shortly after the incident.
“It wasn’t what I talked about to Brian, it wasn’t what I said,” Beckley said in regards to Fanelli’s statement.
In his sworn statement from October 2010, Fanelli said Beckley told him he believed he was going to be killed by Henry’s vehicle and that he drew his weapon and fired at the car. Beckley said in his deposition that that statement is not true and that he believed Hess was the aggressor.
“I believed that the person on the hood of the car was the aggressor,” Beckley said.
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