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Deputy hit in NC shootout recovering

Deputy Joshua LaFave suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, back and shoulder from Andrew Michaelis

By Nathan Hardin and Nancy McCleary Staff writers
The Fayetteville Observer

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A 25-year-old Cumberland County sheriff's deputy remains in intensive care at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center after he was shot while responding to a shooting Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office said in a news release Thursday.

Deputy Joshua LaFave suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, back and shoulder from Andrew Michaelis, the Sheriff's Office said.

Michaelis, 41, shot several officers and killed two people, including a 10-year-old child, before he was found shot to death behind a home in the Acorn Ridge subdivision, authorities said.

LaFave was listed in serious condition Thursday, the department said.

Another bullet grazed the head of Deputy Angela Condesaavedra, 36. She was treated at a local medical facility and released.

Deputy Jamie McLeod, 25, suffered bruising along her torso, deputies said, after a bullet struck her equipment belt and remained lodged there, the Sheriff's Office said. She was treated for minor bruising and released.

Deputy Travis Knotts, 27, was grazed on the leg by a stray bullet during the gunfire, the release said.

Michaelis was married to two women, according to court records.

Michaelis sprayed the home of his father-in-law, Gary Simpson, off Crystal Springs Road, with rounds from an AR-15 assault-type rifle.

Simpson, 61, and his 10-year-old grandson, Trakwon Covington, were killed.

Michaelis' wife, Valerie, was inside the residence at the time, as was their son, authorities said. She was not harmed.

Lawmen have not determined a motive for the shootings.

But Michaelis had filed for divorce July 2 from Tabitha Gwyn Michaelis, whom he married Nov. 1, 1996, according to civil court records.

They had no children and separated Jan. 1, 1998, records said. Michaelis sought the divorce on grounds that the couple had not lived together in more than a year.

A complaint and summons were issued in September 2002 but apparently were never served. An amended complaint and summons was filed in May.

Meanwhile, Michaelis and Valerie were married Oct. 17, 2003, according to records in the Register of Deeds office.

It was not known whether Valerie Michaelis knew that Michaelis was still married to Tabitha Michaelis.

She declined to speak with a reporter Thursday afternoon.

A number for Tabitha Michaelis did not work. A Laurinburg address for her was listed in the court file.

Michaelis had no major criminal record in Cumberland County.

Michaelis had several misdemeanor charges filed against him in 1993-94, when he was an active duty soldier assigned to Fort Bragg, court records showed.

The most serious offense was a driving while impaired charge in 1994, to which Michaelis pleaded guilty.

Andrew Michaelis' body was sent to the state Medical Examiner's Office yesterday to determine how he died, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said.

Investigators hope an autopsy will show whether Michaelis was killed by deputies or shot himself, said Moose Butler, Cumberland County sheriff.

Copyright 2014 The Fayetteville Observer 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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