An NYPD officer followed his wife and her young lover to an upstate hotel and then fatally shot the man before turning the gun on himself in a love triangle turned deadly, according to authorities.
NYPD officer Sean Armstead, 36, was supposed to be working a midnight shift in The Bronx but called in sick so that he could track down his wife, Alexandra Vanderheyden, 35, and her 20-year-old dog-walking boyfriend, Edward Wilkins, on Sunday, as reported by the New York Post.
Vanderheyden Parked Her Car Down the Road to Throw Armstead Off Her Trail
The drama unfolded after the illicit lovebirds drove separately towards their meeting spot â a La Quinta Inn in Wallkill â at around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.
Vanderheyden, who employed Wilkins in her dog-walking business, decided to ditch her car down the road before reaching the hotel, and her lover picked her up â because she was suspicious her hubby might be on to them and wanted to throw him off if he came looking for her, The Post said, citing sources.
The pair stayed at the hotel for several hours before heading out to a local Golden Corral restaurant for dinner. They then headed to a Dave & Busters in the area, sources said.
Shortly after 10:45 p.m., the couple left the entertainment site and headed back to their hotel. Vanderheyden thought it was safe to go retrieve her car now given that her cop husband had a shift to cover so she had Wilkins drop her off at her vehicle and they both separately drove back to the hotel to continue with their rendezvous.
Armstead Rammed into Wilkins Car, Shot Him 16 Times in the Back
However, Armstead was on to them. Vanderheyden later told investigators she believed that her husband tracked her through her cellphone.
Armstead chased down Wilkins as both drove on NY-211, crashing his vehicle into his love rival's car and spinning it around on the state highway, witnesses and sources said. Both cars eventually came to a rest facing east in the roadway's westbound lanes, they said.
Wilkins then jumped out of his car and ran for his life, authorities said. He got as far as the parking lot of a nearby Buffalo Wild Wings, where he was shot in the back of the head after Armstead fired a total of 16 shots, officials said.
Armstead, who had been with the NYPD since 2011, then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide, according to the sources. Vanderheyden, who had been following in her car, drove up to see her husband and lover both lying in a pool of blood on the pavement, the sources said.
Vanderhayden's Family Release Statement
In a statement on Monday, Vanderhayden's family called the murder-suicide "a devastating tragedy for the victims and families involved.
"Our family has been directly impacted by the traumatic events that occurred late on May 8," Joe Meyer, Vanderheyden's brother, said in the statement.
"We're awaiting the outcome of the law enforcement investigation to determine exactly what happened," Meyer said. "We ask the members of the media to respect the privacy of the families and victims involved in this tragic event and to allow law enforcement to effectively investigate."
According to sources, Vanderheyden and Armstead's 9-year-old marriage had hit a rough spot at some point and that the cop had grown suspicious of the affair.