Deputy wounded in shootout recovering in Fayetteville hospital - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Deputy wounded in shootout recovering in Fayetteville hospital

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Gary Simpson, 61, was shot and killed Wednesday when 41-year-old Andrew Michaelis fired more than 90 rounds at Simpson's home. Gary Simpson, 61, was shot and killed Wednesday when 41-year-old Andrew Michaelis fired more than 90 rounds at Simpson's home.

The deputy who was shot in the torso during the gun battle Wednesday remains at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he is sedated and in stable condition.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said 25-year old Deputy Joshua LaFave suffered gunshot wounds to his chest, back and shoulder Wednesday when Andrew Michaelis opened fire on a home on New Moon Drive.

Sheriff Earl Butler said LaFave is in the Intensive Care Unit at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and is listed in serious but stable condition.

The body of Michaelis, meanwhile, is on the way to the State Medical Examiners office for an autopsy to see if Michaelis died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he was killed by police bullets during the gun battle with deputies.

The sheriff's office said Michaelis fired more than 90 rounds at the home of 61-year-old Gary Simpson when Michaelis' wife fled to the home Wednesday morning. Simpson and his 10-year-old grandson, Trekwan Covington, were both shot and killed inside the home.

Additionally, Deputy Angelica Condesaavedra, 36, received a graze wound to her head while deputies pursued Michaelis. She was treated and released from a local medical facility.

Deputy Jamie McLeod, 25, suffered bruising along her torso after a bullet struck her equipment belt and remained lodged there. She suffered minor bruising and was treated at a local medical facility for scrapes to her knee.

And Deputy Travis Knotts, 27, was grazed on the leg by a stray bullet during the gunfire. He was treated at the scene and has since returned to duty.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said it could find no domestic violence reports or other criminal records associated with Michaelis, and the Sheriff's Office said it had never been called to his home prior to Wednesday’s shooting.

Michaelis was discharged from the military 11 years ago and the sheriff's office said his military record had no bearing on Wednesday's events.

The families of the two who died are still struggling to deal with what happened, including the father of Trekwan Covington.

"He was a good-hearted kid," said Kelly Covington, Trekwan's father. "You know, he wouldn't harm a fly. As a matter of fact, when him and his grandpa went fishing, he was upset that the fish had to die."

The sheriff's office said shootout occurred after deputies were called to a home on Bramblegate Road in response to a domestic dispute around 7 a.m. Deputies said Valerie Michaelis called 911 for help after she and her husband, Andrew Michaelis, became involved in an argument inside their home. During the argument, Valerie Michaelis said her husband held her at gun point until she was able to get the gun away from him.

Deputies said Andrew Michaelis then went after his wife with a knife, but she was able to escape and fled to Simpson's home in the 5100 block of New Moon Drive. Simpson was identified as Valerie Michaelis' father.

The sheriff's office said Andrew Michaelis followed Valerie Michaelis to the home, and fired 30 shots from a high-powered assault rifle. Deputies said Simpson and Covington were the only two of seven people inside the home were hit by gunfire.

"We've had some bad situations, but I think this is one of the top five. When you see a young 10-year-old over here and a 61-year-old here shot in his house, shooting through his wall, I tell you it was real bad," Butler said.

The Michaelis' son, Ryan, was also at the home, but he did not suffer any physical injuries.

Deputies said Andrew Michaelis left the scene of the shooting and then returned, firing 30 more shots. When he left and returned a third time, deputies were inside the home responding to the call for help.

Andrew Michaelis again began firing at the home, striking two deputies inside.

Deputies then began to pursue Andrew Michaelis through a wooded area in an adjoining neighborhood. The sheriff's office said Michaelis continued to fire his weapon at deputies, who in turn returned fire.


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Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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