The mother of the dog-walker who was fatally shot by his lover’s cop husband last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NYPD, claiming her son’s killer never should have had a gun.
Edward Wilkins, 20, was gunned down by Officer Sean Armstead, 36, who then killed himself outside a Buffalo Wild Wings in Wallkill on May 8, 2022, because he suspected the younger man of having an affair with his wife, Alexandra Vanderheyden, 35.
Wilkins’ mother Helena Dow on Thursday sued the NYPD, claiming the department should have known that Armstead was suffering from mental health problems and that he shouldn’t have been allowed to have a gun — or even become a cop, according to the filing in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Armstead — who was supposed to be working a midnight shift in the PSA 8 in the Bronx — had called out sick the day of the murder and was “negligently permitted to take possession of his service handgun and three clips of ammunition,” the suit alleges.
The jealous cop tracked down Vanderheyden and Wilkins — an employee of her dog walking business — to a La Quinta Inn in Wallkill upstate.
He later crashed his car into Wilkins after chasing him down on NY-211 before Wilkins fled on foot.
Wilkins — who only made it as far as a Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot — was shot by Armstead 11 times outside the restaurant, the suit 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 permitted to take possession of his service handgun and three clips of ammunition even though he had previously called in sick, was therefore off-duty, and had no legitimate reason to possess” the gun, the suit claims.
And the 11-year veteran cop was, “suffering from mental illness, was a known risk to engage 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 and a proximate cause of the death,” of Wilkins, the suit claims.
Leading up to the tragic murder, Wilkins endured “pre-impact terror and suffered excruciating pain… and agony including fear of imminent death as his motor vehicle was rammed by Armstead,” the filing claims.
Dow is suing for unspecified damages. Her suit also names Armstead’s estate.
Dow’s lawyer Michael Kolb, of 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 suit. A working number could not be found for her Thursday.
The NYPD declined to comment as the case is pending.
The Orange County Commissioner of Finance is listed as the administrator of Armstead’s estate. A lawyer for the estate declined to comment.
Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy