Deputy DeFilipps says huge ‘thank you’ to community

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 April 2015 at 12:00 am

County Legislature honors first responders, dispatchers in March 21 shoot-out

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Deputy James DeFilipps (right), who was wounded in a March 21 shoot-out in Clarendon, made a public appearance today at the Orleans County Legislature, joining other law enforcement officers, first responders and dispatchers in accepting “Special Recognition” awards from the Legislature.

DeFilipps is pictured with deputies Brian Larkin, left, and Kevin Colonna.

DeFilipps was shot twice in the abdomen. A bullet proof vest blocked the bullets, but DeFilipps sustained deep bruising in his torso. He is recovering from those injuries.

He was shot twice by James Ellis, 44, of Wyoming County. Ellis allegedly pulled a handgun on an ex-girlfriend in Shelby on March 21. Ellis was then chased by law enforcement before crashing his vehicle into a telephone pole on Route 31A in Clarendon.

DeFilipps was working the east end of the county and responded to the scene in Clarendon. Police say Ellis open fired on responding officers, including DeFilipps. After DeFilipps was shot twice, he fired at Ellis, killing him.

Evidence from the incident will be presented to a grand jury to review the actions by DeFilipps and law enforcement. DeFilipps declined to speak extensively about the incident until the grand jury is done reviewing the case.

He said he looks forward to offering “a huge thank to the community” for its support.

The Legislature honored police, firefighters and dispatchers involved the incident, including from left: Deputy Kevin Colonna, State Police Trooper Kevin Bentley, Deputy Brian Larkin, State Police Trooper Scott Gregson, Holley Police Officer Guy Burke, County Legislator Lynne Johnson, Deputy James DeFilipps, County Legislator Ken DeRoller, Albion Police Sergeant William Scribner, Orleans County Dispatcher Julie Vendetti, Dispatcher Michael Schultz, and Jon DeYoung, fire chief for the Clarendon Fire Company.

Orleans County Sheriff Deputy Josh Narburgh also was recognized, but he was not present at the meeting today.

The “Special Recognition Award” stated the following: “At a moments notice, First Responders risk their own safety in the execution of their duties to protect others. Courageous men and women are the first to arrive and assist at an emergency scene and are our first line of defense against all public safety threats.

“On the 22nd of April 2015, we do hereby recognize your devotion to duty and unwavering commitment to our fellow citizens, specifically in the early morning hours of March 21, 2015. Orleans County is fortunate to have such excellent and distinguished Responders who are ready to quickly react and assist in times of emergency and crisis.”

The certificates were signed by all seven county legislators: David Callard, Lynne Johnson, John DeFilipps, Don Allport, Bill Eick, Fred Miller and Ken DeRoller.