Andrews family touched by death before fatal shooting — (Greater New Milford Spectrum)

SSRI Ed note: "Squeaky clean" 51-yr-old attorney, depressed by deaths of mother and brother, takes medication, attacks his family, is killed by police.

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The Greater New Milford Spectrum

Updated 4:19 pm, Friday, February 19, 2016

FAIRFIELD — Christopher Andrews was depressed, according to several people close to the family.

He was distraught over the death two weeks ago of his beloved mother, Elizabeth Andrews, and was still haunted by the loss of his brother Michael Andrews in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, say law enforcement and other authorities.

He had been taking prescription medication to help him sleep and was experiencing sudden mood swings in recent weeks, said sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Whether those factors led the man described by friends as “squeaky clean” into a violent domestic disturbance Tuesday that ended with his death remains a mystery.

What is known is that Andrews’ wife was stabbed in the face and badly beaten. His 12-year-old son was bludgeoned and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son were also injured.

When Fairfield police officer Sean Fenton arrived that morning, he found Andrews standing in the driveway of the family’s Mountain Laurel Road home with a bloody knife in his hand, sources said. Fenton, his gun pointed at Andrews’ chest, ordered him to drop the knife.

Instead, Andrews stepped toward the officer, police sources said.

Fenton retreated until he was backed up against a snowbank. Again, sources said, he told Andrews to drop the knife, and again Andrews wordlessly approached. Fenton then fired.

It may be some weeks before an autopsy can determine whether medication could have contributed to Andrews’ actions Tuesday.

Stamford State’s Attorney Richard Colengelo Jr. has been appointed to oversee a State Police investigation into the shooting, while Fairfield police continue their own probe of the beating and stabbing of the Andrews family.

Before Christopher Andrews was shot, his family was affected by a recent death. His mother, Elizabeth, died Feb. 3. Sources close to the family said Christopher Andrews struggled with that loss.

The memory of a more distant death also lingered.

Andrews’ brother, Michael Rourke Andrews, was working on the 105th floor of one of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, and was among those killed when terrorists brought it down with a passenger jet.

According to a “Voices of September 11” tribute to Fairfield University alums who died in those attacks, Michael Rourke had recently opened a Hells Kitchen bar called Coppersmiths, with three colleagues at Cantor Fitzgerald, when he was killed.

Christopher, Elizabeth and Michael Andrews are now survived by the men’s father, Edward Andrews, and brothers and sisters Mary Beth, Edward, Jean Jamin, Paul and Marianne Salisbury, according to The Wave, a local newspaper in Rockaway, N.Y.

Staff Writer Genevieve Reilly contributed to this report.