Shooting Officer in DJ Henry Case Leaves on Disability Retirement

Pleasantville, NY Police Officer Aaron Hess has been inactive since the shooting of Danroy "DJ" Henry on Oct. 17, 2010.

Aaron Hess, the police officer who shot and killed Easton native DJ Henry, is no longer a member of the .

"I can confirm we did get notice from the state comptroller about a week ago," said Pleasantville Village Administrator Patricia Dwyer. "They ruled favorably on his application for disability retirement."

Hess, a member of the police department since May 2003, has been out on medical leave since Oct. 17, 2010, when he was involved in a shooting at the Thornwood Shopping Center.

Since the incident, Hess has been identified as the police officer who fatally shot Danroy "DJ" Henry, then a 20-year-old Pace University football player, who had been at a bar in the shopping center following the school's homecoming game.

Henry was driving his car in the shopping center parking lot at the time of the shooting.

A Westchester County grand jury failed to indict Hess in February 2011, and Henry's parents have since pursued civil lawsuits against the shooting officer as well as the Village of Pleasantville and Town of Mount Pleasant.

Hess was honored by the Pleasantville Police Benevolent Association last April when he was named Officer of the Year.

Earlier this year, Hess was deposed in federal court, where Henry family attorney Michael Sussman questioned him about the shooting.

Sussman said in October that Hess' medical records had been kept confidential since the incident, though the officer said he was injured when Henry's vehicle allegedly struck him the morning of the shooting.

Hess told Sussman during his deposition that he "was thrown from the vehicle" after shooting Henry, but, "I don't recall which way I landed."

According to a transcript of Hess' deposition, Sussman referenced a Westchester Medical Center document that had notes from a person who treated Hess, stating he suffered a knee injury during the incident.

Following a July court appearance, Brian Sokoloff, the attorney representing Hess, declined to comment on the condition of Hess' health.

Sokoloff was not available to comment on Friday.

According to Dwyer of Pleasantville, the village was told it had 30 days to "effectively terminate his active status on payroll," and made his last official day with the Pleasantville Police Department Friday, Dec. 7.

Pleasantville Police Chief Richard Love said he could not comment on Hess' retirement.


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