GREENSBORO, N.C. – FOX8 has learned not one, but two judges denied Laurrissa Armstrong a restraining order against her estranged husband before police say Bruce Ray Armstrong shot her on Thursday, August 29th.
Laurrissa Armstrong is still in critical condition. Bruce Armstrong is dead and police are still investigating the cause of his death.
Below is a timeline of the events that led to the shooting, based on court documents and Bruce Ray Armstrong's handgun purchase permit application.
Sunday, June 30: Laurissa Armstrong moves out of the house in which she lives with her husband Bruce and plans to begin divorce proceedings.
Sunday, July 7: Bruce Ray Armstrong confronts Laurissa Armstrong at her new address, despite Laurissa saying she never told him where she was moving.
Sunday, July 21: Someone slashes all four tires on Laurissa Armstrong's car. She suspects Bruce.
Thursday, July 25: Laurissa spots Bruce slowly rolling through the parking lot of her place of work in his cranberry Ford Fusion. Laurissa wrote in a complaint that she drove away, and when she returned later Bruce was gone.
Friday, July 26: Bruce Ray Armstrong applies for a handgun purchase permit from the Guilford County Sheriff's Office.
Monday, July 29: Laurissa Armstrong pleads for emergency protection from Bruce Ray Armstrong because of his behavior throughout July. She does this at a 50-B hearing. The hearing is ex-parte, meaning only one party is present. This is Laurissa Armstrong's chance to plead her case without input from Bruce. Laurissa Armstrong's complaint does not mention a pistol permit application. She may not have known about it.
Judge Angela Foster denies the motion, checking a box marked, "The defendant has failed to prove grounds for ex-parte relief." The 50-B would've required Bruce Ray Armstrong to stay away from Laurissa, and it also would have prevented the Sheriff's office from approving his handgun purchase application.
Judge Foster sets a second hearing date, at which Bruce Ray Armstrong may state his case as to why he does not deserve to have a 50-B served on him.
Friday, August 2: The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office approves Bruce Ray Armstrong's handgun purchase permit. There is no legal basis to deny him. Bruce Armstrong is now legally allowed to purchase a handgun.
Wednesday, August 7: Judge Linda Fall denies Armstrong's request for a 50-B, essentially agreeing with Judge Foster's decision. She also cites a lack of evidence. Had Judge Fall gone against Judge Foster's decision, Sheriff's deputies could have confiscated Bruce Armstrong's pistol, if he'd bought one since receiving approval on August 2nd. If he hadn't, his permit could have been invalidated, prohibiting him from legally purchasing a handgun.
There is no definitive evidence that Bruce Armstrong bought a handgun between August 2nd and August 29th, only evidence that it was legal for him to do so at that time.
Thursday, August 29: Greensboro Police say Bruce Ray Armstrong shoots Laurissa Armstrong. Police respond and find Laurissa in critical condition while Bruce is deceased. The cause of his death is still under investigation.