Who was Sean Armstead? NYPD cop kills wife's beau and himself in DEADLY love triangle

Armstead fatally shot himself before killing the victim by firing 16 bullets at the back of his head


                            Who was Sean Armstead? NYPD cop kills wife's beau and himself in DEADLY love triangle
Armstead (L) fatally shot his wife Alexandra's (L) lover Wilkins (R) (alexandravanderheyden/Facebook and specia1.ed/TikTok)

WALLKILL, NEW YORK: An off-duty NYPD cop reportedly shot and killed a man, and then himself, in what police are saying is a love triangle. The shooting took place just after 10:30 pm on Sunday, May 9, in the parking lot of a Buffalo Wild Wings in Wallkill, in Orange County. 36-year-old Sean Armstead, of Port Jervis, suspected that his wife was having an affair with the victim, 20-year-old Edward Wilkins, of Wurtsboro.

Armstead, who was supposed to be working a midnight shift in The Bronx, called in sick so he could hunt down his wife, Alexandra Vanderheyden, 35, and Wilkins. The shooting took place after the pair headed towards their meeting point, a La Quinta Inn in Wallkill. 

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Wilkins was reportedly employed in Vanderheyden's dog-walking business. Vanderheyden parked her car down the road before reaching the hotel, and her lover picked her up. She reportedly suspected that Armstead could be on the lookout for them. The two stayed at the hotel for several hours and then went out to a local Golden Corral restaurant for dinner. They then headed to a Dave & Busters in the area.

The couple later left the entertainment site and headed back to their hotel, assuming it would be safe for her to retrieve her car. At this point, the two took their cars separately and headed back to the hotel. 

Armstead, meanwhile, was trailing them. Vanderheyden later told investigators that she believes he tracked her through her cellphone. Armstead chased down Wilkins and crashed his vehicle into his car until both the cars came to rest facing east in the roadway’s westbound lanes. Wilkins jumped out and tried to escape, and was able to go as far as a nearby Buffalo Wild Wings before he was shot in the back of his head by 16 bullets by Armstead. Armstead then shot himself to death. Vanderheyden drove up to find both the men dead.

Not much is known about Armstead except that he was appointed to the NYPD in July of 2011 and worked in PSA 8, which patrols NYCHA developments in a section of The Bronx. He had five complaints filed against him in three separate incidents in 2013 and 2014, but none of them were sustained, NYPD and Civilian Complaint Review Board records show. The complaints were for excessive force, discourtesy and abuse of authority, but there are no records of departmental discipline due to the complaints.

“It happened outside,” a Buffalo Wild Wings manager told New York Post. “The night manager told me she kept everyone inside and locked the doors.” Vanderhayden’s family called the murder-suicide "devastating". 

“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. “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.”