Troubled life, then a shooting — (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

SSRI Ed note: Injured, out-of work man, never before in trouble, takes antidepressants, goes on crime spree, shoots police officer, everyone is shocked.

Original article no longer available

The Philadelphia Inquirer

By Mari A. Schaefer

Inquirer Staff Writer

Officer Matthew Illich, 36, his wrist in a brace and his broken arm secured to his side, sat with his wife, Michele, yesterday and talked to reporters about getting shot.

The Glenolden officer spoke one day after being struck in the shoulder by a bullet allegedly fired by Andrew Gines, 55, on New Year’s morning.

Gines was arrested Monday night as he was walking along Route 420 in Prospect Park. He is being held in Delaware County Prison on $750,000 cash bail.

A Trainer resident, he is charged with aggravated assault, making terroristic threats, burglary and other related crimes.

According to police, Gines broke into the Martin Lane, Norwood home of Samantha Furlong, a family friend. Gines allegedly beat her with a crowbar and threatened her with a gun. When police responded to a 911 call placed by someone else in the house, Gines shot at the officers, wounding Illich, police said. Illich said he was hit just above his protective vest.

“I’ll be OK, I’ll be back,” Illich said, adding he was tired and plans to spend the next few days with his children and family.

Gines’ son, Paul Gines, described his father as a “good father and a great grandfather” who was battling depression.

“He would have good days and bad days, but nothing like yesterday,” said Paul Gines.

“It shocked all of us,” said Paul Gines, 31, who has not heard from his father since the arrest. “This is like a bad dream and we are all trying to wake up from it.”

Trainer Police Chief James Magaw said Andrew Gines was known to his office as a “nice guy” and there were no incidents involving Andrew Gines on record with his department.

“It’s just been a whole lot of bad luck in the last five years,” said Paul Gines, who services office equipment.

For a while Andrew Gines worked for a company that manufactured large valves used in oil production until he was laid off. He worked in construction and did odd jobs after that until he suffered an injury.

Gines spent about 10 years in a wheelchair on disability. Paul Gines said his father earned his G.E.D. while he was incapacitated, and about two years ago had both hips replaced.

He said his father was close to his wife’s mother, who held the family together until her death about five years ago. Later, Paul’s parents’ marriage began to fail and eventually they lost their house in Darby.

They divorced and Andrew Gines’ wife moved to Kentucky a few years ago, which caused Andrew to lapse into a depression, said his son Paul.

Paul Gines said his father was taking medication to help with the depression. He said his father kept a handgun for “house protection.”

Shortly after the shooting but before Paul Gines knew it happened, he said his father called him.

“He said he was in big trouble and walking on 95,” Gines said. “Then he said he was sorry and hung up.”

Contact Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149 or .