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Crime News Breaking News

NYPD Officer Allegedly Shot Wife’s Lover, Self In Upstate Buffalo Wild Wings Parking Lot

Sean Armstead, a 10-year veteran of the NYPD, allegedly tracked his wife, Alexandra Vandeheyden, and her much younger lover, Edward Wilkins, to a hotel before slamming into Wilkins' car, shooting him multiple times and turning the gun on himself on Mother's Day.

By Dorian Geiger
Crime Scene Tape

An off-duty New York City police officer allegedly shot and killed his wife’s 20-year-old lover in an upstate fast casual restaurant parking lot before turning the gun on himself, police said.

Sean Armstead, 36, fatally shot Edward Wilkins outside a Buffalo Wild Wings in Middletown — about 70 miles northwest of Manhattan — on Mother’s Day before turning the gun on himself, Wallkill Police Department said in a press release. Authorities suspect the murder-suicide was fueled by a love triangle, CBS News reported.

Armstead had been scheduled to work a shift in the Bronx on Sunday night but called in sick. Instead, he allegedly trailed his wife, Alexandra Vandeheyden, and Wilkins upstate, the New York Post reported, citing New York City Police Department sources.

Vandeheyden and Wilkins reportedly checked into a La Quinta hotel in Wallkill around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday — after Vandeheyden left her car elsewhere in the area, according to the Post. The two later had dinner and went to a Dave & Busters, which is around 45 minutes away in West Nyack; after they returned to the Wallkill area, Wilkins dropped Vandeheyden off at her car with the reported intention of meeting her back at the hotel.

Armstead, who had allegedly been following them, then sped down NY Route 211 in his vehicle, slamming into Wilkins' car; Wilkins got out and ran. Armstead followed, and allegedly shot at him 16 times in the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot — which is adjacent to the La Quinta — shortly after 10:30 p.m., according to police sources.

“One guy jumps out, comes over here and starts shooting away,” Gary DeYoung told News 12 Westchester. “I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I called 911. By that time, there was two deceased on the ground here in the parking lot.”

Police found both Armstead and Wilkins dead in the parking lot of the Buffalo Wild Wings. Wilkins was allegedly shot in the head by Armstead, who then reportedly shot himself, according to the New York Daily News.

A Glock pistol, including multiple spent shell casing, were found at the scene of the shooting. Armstead is suspected of firing off at least 16 rounds, according to the Post. The fast food chain was locked down for approximately two hours as detectives descended on the scene. 

"I hear pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,” another witness told CBS News. “Next thing I know, probably, I don't know how long afterwards, cops were all over this place. I mean, the smell of the gunpowder was so heavy.”

Vandeheyden wasn't injured in the incident, the New York Post reported; she arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting. She told detectives she believed that her husband had tracked her using her electronic data. 

Wilkins was employed as a dog-walker by Vandeheyden’s dog-walking company, per the Post. 

Armstead joined the New York City Police Department in 2011, a spokesperson for the department confirmed with Oxygen.com on Tuesday. Armstead, who was assigned to a public housing command post in the Bronx, was off-duty at the time of the shooting, according to police.

The New York State Attorney General’s Office is jointly leading the investigation into the suspected murder-suicide with Wallkill Police Department. The New York State Police, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York Police Department are also assisting local authorities.

No further information was immediately available regarding the open case this week. A spokesperson for the Wallkill Police Department didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment on Tuesday.