The Aaron Michael case
One was, after learning that Michael, the son of a Chester police officer, had used his father’s service revolver in what amounted to an execution of his estranged girlfriend outside her Ridley home, then went home and wound up in a confrontation with Chester police – his father’s colleagues – that wound up with him being shot to death, that the story couldn’t possibly get worse.
We were wrong.
At an afternoon press conference, District Attorney G. Michael Green indicated that in the minutes before he walked out of his Chester home to confront officers, Michael had called several friends and admitted he was responsible for the deaths of two sons.
Lamar Patrick, 4, died on Sept. 29, 2005. Another son, Alijah Townes, just 4 months old, died July 21, 2007. That would have been exactly two years ago yesterday.
The second was just how incredibly sad all of this was. Michael, 29, was the son of a Chester officer. Ironically, it was a Chester officer who fired a single shot at him when he raised a gun and pointed it at officers.
The third is a haunting feeling that this could have been prevented.
Michael was not a stranger to the law. He had once pleaded guilty to theft charges. He was acquitted back in March 2002 of indecent assault and voluntary deviate sexual intercourse.
Then there was his volatile relationship with Andrea Arrington. Their relationship apparently had gone south, and she obtained a protection from abuse order on July 2. It is also believed that after Michael became violent, she had sought help from Michael’s father.
Michael apparently violated the protection from abuse order on July 14.
A warrant was issued for his arrest the next day. That is six days before he confronted her outside her home on Constitution Avenue Monday night and pumped 12 bullets into her. A mortally wounded Arrington, who earned honors at Delaware County Community College while holding down a full-time job, managed to tell police it was Michael who had attacked her. Her dream of attending Temple University to major in communications ended a few hours later when she succumbed at Crozer Chester Medical Center.
Arrington learned something too many victims of abuse face, that a protection from abuse order very often does not stop a person intent on doing them harm.
Finally, there is the previous deaths of Michael’s two sons. Both cases had been ruled “undetermined” by the Delaware County Medical Examiner’s Office. Green yesterday stressed there was no indication of trauma in the two boys’ deaths. He added, however, that both mothers were suspicious of Michael’s role in their deaths. Michael was questioned in both cases, but no evidence was found linking him to the deaths, according to Green. Both cases are now being reviewed in light of the new admission by Michael.
Four people dead. Several families torn apart. And a police department shaken to its core by the agonizing - but necessary – decision to used deadly force against the son of one of their own.
It’s enough to leave you shaking your head, and wondering if anything else could have been done to stop Aaron Michael’s murderous rage.