Sheriff says Ellis used stolen handgun to fire at deputy

Posted 24 March 2015 at 12:00 am

James Ellis

Press Release
Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess

This press release is an update to the deputy-involved shooting that occurred on Saturday in the Town of Clarendon that resulted in the death of James Ellis.

On Saturday at 2:46 a.m., James Ellis went to a residence on Mill Street in Shelby Center and confronted his ex-girlfriend. It is alleged that Ellis put the barrel of a handgun to her head in an effort to solicit information as to the whereabouts of her current boyfriend.

Ellis subsequently left that location causing no further harm to the ex-girlfriend or anyone else. Ellis was eventually located after crashing his car on Route 31A in Clarendon. That led to the exchange of gunfire with Sheriff’s Deputy James DeFilipps that resulted in Ellis’s death.

Later on Saturday, a search was issued at Ellis’s residence at 8 Durfee Rd. in the Village of Wyoming (Wyoming County). The warrant was subsequently executed by members of the Orleans County Major Felony Crimes Task Force, the Sheriff’s offices in Orleans and Wyoming counties, and the Wyoming County Probation Department. The search of the Ellis residence provided no evidence of any substance that explain the actions of Ellis earlier in the day.

Investigators have determined that the .45 caliber handgun in Ellis’s possession at the time of his death was recently reported stolen from a residence in Wyoming County.

The incident remains under investigation by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police. The results of an autopsy being conducted by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office in Rochester could take several weeks.

It is anticipated that the Orleans County District Attorney’s Office will present the results of the police investigation to a grand jury sometime in April.

Deputy James DeFilipps continues to recover from injuries he sustained as a result of being shot by James Ellis. Deputy DeFilipps is expected to make a full recovery after which he will return to duty.

The Sheriff’s Office is extremely grateful for the outpouring of support received from the citizens of Orleans County following this event.