The mother of the dog walker who was fatally shot by her lover’s police husband last year he filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the NYPD, alleging that his son’s killer should never have had a gun.
Edward Wilkins, 20, was shot and killed by Officer Sean Armstead, 36, who later committed suicide outside a Buffalo Wild Wings in Wallkill on May 8, 2022 because he suspected the young man was having an affair with his wife, Alexandra Vanderheyden, 35 years old. .
Wilkins’ mother, Helena Dow, sued the NYPD on Thursday, alleging that the department should have known that Armstead suffered from mental health issues and that he should not have been allowed to own a gun, or even become a police officer, according to the filing in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Armstead, who was supposed to be working a midnight shift at PSA 8 in the Bronx, had called in sick on the day of the murder and was “negligently allowed to take possession of his service weapon and three ammunition clips,” the claim alleges. .
The jealous cop tracked down Vanderheyden and Wilkins. an employee of his dog walking business — to a La Quinta Inn in Wallkill, upstate.
He later crashed his car into Wilkins after giving chase on NY-211 before Wilkins fled on foot.
Wilkins, who only made it as far as the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot, was shot by armstead 11 times outside the restaurant, the lawsuit claims.
Vanderheyden, who was with Armstead for nine years, arrived at the scene to find both men dead after her husband also shot himself, sources told The Post in May.
Armstead “was negligently allowed to take possession of his service weapon and three rounds of ammunition despite previously calling in sick, thus being off-duty and having no legitimate reason for possessing” the weapon, the complaint states. demand.
And the 11-year veteran police officer “suffered from mental illness, was a known risk of involvement in violence, and was psychologically and emotionally unfit to be a police officer and possess a dangerous handgun,” the lawsuit alleges.
The NYPD was negligent in “supervising Armstead and entrusting him with a handgun,” which “was a substantial factor in and a proximate cause of death” of Wilkins, the lawsuit claims.
Prior to the tragic murder, Wilkins endured “pre-impact terror and excruciating pain…and agony including fear of imminent death when his motor vehicle was struck by Armstead,” the document states.
Dow is suing for unspecified damages. His lawsuit also mentions Armstead’s estate.
Dow’s attorney, Michael Kolb, of the law firm O’Connor & Partners, PLLC, told The Post: “I can confirm that [Dow] is [Wilkins’] mother and this matter has been very difficult for her.”
He declined to comment further.
Vanderheyden is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Could not find a work number for her on Thursday.
The NYPD declined to comment as the case is pending.
The Orange County Commissioner of Finance is listed as the administrator of the Armstead estate. An attorney for the estate declined to comment.
Aadditional reporting by Craig McCarthy
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