A man who fatally shot his wife and a New York police officer last week had a brother who was killed in a shootout with Massachusetts police four years ago, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Police in Springfield, Mass., told the Poughkeepsie Journal that 28-year-old Aaron Brevoort was shot after he opened fire on officers trying to serve him with a warrant in connection with a series of burglaries near Poughkeepsie. A Springfield officer was wounded in the leg during the March 13, 2007, gunfight.
Brevoort was the brother of 27-year-old Lee Welch, the Catskill man who killed his 28-year-old wife, Jessica Welch, and Poughkeepsie policeman John Falcone on Friday afternoon before turning a gun on himself, the Journal reported.
Welch shot the mother of three as the couple sat with their 3-year-old daughter in the family car near the Poughkeepsie train station, police said. He then shot himself in the chest and grabbed the child as he staggered out of the car.
When officers arrived, one of them wrestled the girl away from Welch before Welch opened fire, hitting Falcone in the head, police said. Another officer tackled Welch, who then shot himself in the head.
Poughkeepsie Police Chief Ronald Knapp said his department received information about the Springfield shooting over the weekend. He told the Journal that the Massachusetts shootout was relevant to the investigation into Welch "because it could have an effect on what his mind-set was in dealing with police."
Springfield police said Brevoort opened fire on city officers, Massachusetts state troopers and U.S. marshals who showed up to serve him with a fugitive warrant. Brevoort fired about a dozen rounds at officers, then was hit 31 times in the return fire, said David Askins, the Springfield officer wounded in the shooting.
Police fired no shots in the melee with Welch.
Jessica Williams, the mother of Welch and Brevoort, confirmed to the newspaper that her sons died in similar ways.
"The only thing that keeps me going is my girls and my grandkids," she said.
Lee Welch's slain wife had been living in Mount Vernon recently and was meeting her husband in Poughkeepsie to get the family car when she was killed, authorities said. Welch had been arrested twice in recent weeks, once on Jan. 28 on an assault charge filed by his wife and again three days later when he was accused of violating a court order barring him from seeing her, police said.
Falcone, 44, was an 18-year veteran of the Poughkeepsie Police Department. He was single.
His funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Carmel in Putnam County, where Falcone grew up and where his parents still live. Officials said they're anticipating a large showing of law enforcement officers from New York and other states.
Information from: Poughkeepsie Journal, http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com