After mortally wounding his former girlfriend and then confessing that he had caused the deaths of two of his children, the 29-year-old son of a Chester City patrolman was shot and killed by police, Delaware County authorities said yesterday.
Aaron Michael of Chester was killed shortly after midnight outside the house he shared with his father, Officer John Michael, who was away on vacation.
The shooting was the culmination of a deadly series of events that began about 11:30 p.m. Monday, when Aaron Michael confronted Andrea Arrington in Ridley Township. Arrington, the mother of Michael's 2-year-old son, Aaron Jr., had come home from work and was walking on Constitution Avenue to pick up her son from a babysitter.
The story illustrates one of our arguing points: gun availability makes domestic violence deadly. Andrea Arrington had already lost two children in suspicious circumstances, had taken out a restraining order against Michael, and was then confronted by him with a gun. According to Detective Sgt. Scott Willoughby of the Ridley Township police, she was shot 11 times with a .40 caliber handgun and she died later in the hospital. Is such a thing possible? Does it mean he shot her in the legs and arms to torture her? Certainly several bullets in the head or torso would induce quicker death, would they not?
But there's more. The gun belonged to his father.
Michael shot Arrington with a .40-caliber Heckler & Koch semiautomatic pistol that was his father's duty gun, according to Willoughby.
Delaware County District Attorney G. Michael Green said that the gun Aaron Michael used had been stolen from a locked room inside the home in Chester, but that he wasn't sure it was the father's service gun.
The police officer father, with whom the 29-year-old Michael lived, I suppose due to being estranged from his girlfriend and one living child, was left home alone with a gun inside a "locked room." Does that sound like responsible behaviour to you?
In the end Aaron Michael retreated back to the house, claimed responsibility for the deaths of the other two kids, an ambiguous statement to say the least, and committed what to me seems like suicide by cop.
What's your opinion? Does the fact that Philadelphia has the same kinds of problems as Newark NJ, mean anything as far as the states' respective gun laws are concerned? Often people say the New Jersey violence is proof that gun laws don't work. What about Pennsylvania?
Do you think it was irresponsible for the father to leave such easy access to the gun? Not only the obviously disturbed son was able to get it, but any break-in artist worth his salt would have too. Is that an example of shared responsibility?
If Aaron Michael had not gotten his hands on a gun, do you think he would have beaten his ex-girlfriend to death? He's already been accused of "pushing and choking" her. Did the gun availability make a difference?
Please tell us what you think.