Attorney General James’ Office of Special Investigation Releases Report on Death of Edward Wilkins
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Office of Special Investigation (OSI) today released its report on the death of Edward Wilkins in Middletown, Orange County. Following a thorough investigation, which included review of security camera footage, crime scene analysis, and witness interviews, OSI confirmed that on May 8, 2022, off-duty New York City Police Department (NYPD) Officer Sean Armstead shot and killed Edward Wilkins in a parking lot on Route 211 and committed suicide immediately after.
On the night of May 8, 2022, Mr. Wilkins was driving westbound on Route 211 in a black sedan when his car was hit by a Dodge Charger driven by Officer Armstead. When the cars came to a stop, Mr. Wilkins got out of the sedan and began to run away. Officer Armstead got out of his car to chase Mr. Wilkins. He shot Mr. Wilkins multiple times in the parking lot of a Buffalo Wild Wings before shooting himself in the head. Mr. Wilkins and Officer Armstead were both pronounced dead at the scene. Responding officers recovered Officer Armstead’s service weapon at the scene.
A full review of the evidence supports the conclusion that Officer Armstead was responsible for Mr. Wilkins’ death. OSI uncovered no evidence indicating that any other person was involved in the homicide. Therefore, there is no basis on which OSI could seek charges against any living person in this case.
Executive Law Section 70-b directs OSI to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute offenses arising from any incident in which the death of a person is caused by a police officer, whether on or off duty. When OSI does not or, as in this case, cannot seek charges against the officer, Section 70-b requires OSI to issue a public report describing its investigation.