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48 Hours Preview: Defending DJ Henry

BOSTON (CBS) – On Saturday night, 48 Hours will take an in depth look at an Easton couple's crusade to clear their son's name.

In 2010, a New York police officer shot and killed DJ Henry, saying the college student's actions left him with no choice. But friends and witnesses tell a different story.

Henry was junior at Pace University, and a universally liked football player. In the early morning hours of October 17, 2010, his parents got a phone call telling them DJ was shot to death in his car.

DJ Henry
DJ Henry. (Family Photo)

DJ was out celebrating with his teammates, when other people at the bar they were at got into a fight.

Police say DJ was parked in a fire lane in front of the bar, and when an officer asked him to move, he sped towards an officer, propelling the officer onto the hood of his car.

Officer Aaron Hess then fired shots into the front windshield, hitting Henry several times.

48 Hours' James Brown told WBZ's Paula Ebben, Hess made it clear that he fired intentionally, fearing for his life.

DJ Henry parents
Angella and Dan Henry (Image credit 48 Hours)

But DJ's parents say that just doesn't make sense to them. Dan Henry said, "Something had to have happened if that happened. What caused him to do something that's so outside of his character?"

Desmond Hinds, one of DJ's friends who was in the car that night, says the shooting was unprovoked, saying it felt like the "Wild West."

Despite the conflicting stories about what happened, Officer Hess was cleared of any wrongdoing. That decision is what led the Henry's to search for the answers on their own.

Dan Henry said, "We're not anti-police. We're just trying to understand what the facts tell us. Was it a justified shooting or was it not justified? Because if it wasn't, it was murder".

You can watch the 48 Hours report, Defending DJ, Saturday night at 10pm on WBZ.

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