Local News

Bigamy may have led to Cumberland Co. shooting

Posted July 31, 2014 12:31 p.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2014 5:46 p.m. EDT

— Andrew "Jay" Michaelis, who investigators said killed two people and wounded four Cumberland County deputies after a shooting spree on Wednesday, was married to a woman in Michigan, sources confirmed.

Michaelis’ wife in North Carolina, whom he has a 13-year-old son with, found out about the other woman last week, which may have sparked the arguing that led to Wednesday’s incident, sources said.

The news comes as family members attempt to make sense out of what happened.

"It's hard because I'm thinking about who Jay was," said a tearful Angelia Wilkins, whose father, Gary Simpson, was killed. "And I'm thinking about my daddy's gone, my nephew's, my brother's gone."

Simpson, 61, and Trekwan Covington, 10, were two of seven people inside the home on New Moon Drive when Michaelis sprayed the house with bullets from three 30-round magazines.

Simpson, who returned fire at Michaelis, was shot and killed in the living room. His grandson, Trekwan, was shot and killed in a hallway.

The chaos that erupted at the home, located inside Crystal Springs Mobile Home Park near Hope Mills, began four miles away at Michaelis' home on Bramblegate Road at about 7 a.m. Wednesday.

There, according to authorities, Michaelis attacked his estranged wife, Valerie, with a knife and a gun. She was able to get the gun away from him, then escaped to her father's home on New Moon Drive.

Her husband followed.

As deputies responded to Bramblegate Road, they were rerouted to New Moon Drive, where Andrew Michaelis was shooting into the residence. Among those in the house was Michaelis’ son, Ryan, who was there "because of problems in the home," Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said.

Michaelis drove away before returning a second and third time to fire into the house, Butler said. Deputies arrived in between the volleys, and one who entered the home was hit in the chest, back and shoulder.

Other deputies pursued Michaelis through a wooded area into an adjoining neighborhood and onto a residential street.

Michaelis continued to exchange gunfire with the deputies and died of a gunshot wound after hitting four deputies, Butler said. It wasn't clear if the deputies killed him or if he took his own life.

"There was no animosity at all within our family," said Wilkins, Simpson's daughter. "We were family, like I said. I just don't know what set him off. But the man that did this is not the man that we've known for 10 years."

Those who knew Michaelis, including his co-workers at Patterson Mayflower Moving Company, where he worked for the past decade, were also in shock Thursday.

"He expressed how much he loved his son and I'd say 'Hey Jay, what you got planned for the weekend,'" said Horace Gilbert, general manager. "I'm taking my son to the hockey game or the indoor football game. And he just let on that his son was his whole life."

Cumberland County Deputy Joshua LaFave, 25, was hit in the chest, back and shoulder while inside the New Moon Drive home. He was in serious, but stable condition Thursday inside the intensive care unit at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

A bullet grazed the head of Cumberland County Deputy Angelica Condesaavedra, 36. She was treated and released from a medical facility.

Cumberland County Deputy Jamie McLeod, 25, was bruised on her torso after a bullet struck her equipment belt. She suffered minor bruising and was treated at a local medical facility for scrapes to her knee.

Cumberland County Deputy Travis Knotts, 27, was grazed on the leg by a bullet. He was treated at the scene and has returned to duty.

Gunfire shattered the window of a state trooper's cruiser but the officer was not injured.