Chief deputy thanks county for investing in vests, rifles for deputies

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 March 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – A bulletproof vest likely saved the life of Deputy James DeFilipps during a shootout on Saturday at about 3 a.m. with James Ellis.

DeFilipps was shot twice in the abdomen, but the vest prevented the bullet from seriously injuring the deputy. DeFilipps only suffered minor injuries. He is at home and in good spirits, Chief Deputy Tom Drennan said today.

Drennan attended today’s Orleans County Legislature meeting and he thanked the county for providing the resources to purchase the vests for deputies. Each patrol car also has rifle and deputies are trained to use it in active shooter situations.

The vests and rifles “were huge factors in the incident,” Drennan told legislators today.

DeFilipps, after being shot twice, fatally shot Ellis, a Wyoming County resident who pulled a handgun on an ex-girlfriend in Shelby. Ellis was then chased by law enforcement before crashing his vehicle into a telephone pole on Route 31A in Clarendon.

Drennan said Ellis open fired on responding officers, including deputies Josh Narburgh, Kevin Colonna and Brian Larkin. Ellis also fired at state troopers Scott Gregson and Kevin Bentley and Holley police officer Guy Burke.

Drennan said the officers and dispatchers involved in the situation should be recognized by county officials for performing their jobs in a very stressful situation. Legislators agreed commendations are in order.