An Orleans County Sheriff's deputy could have had much more serious
injuries after police say he was shot by a suspect this weekend.
According to investigators, suspect James Ellis crashed his car in the
Town of Clarendon early Saturday morning. Investigators say he then
opened fire on Deputy James DeFilipps who was wearing a bulletproof
vest. The sheriff's office says DeFilipps returned fire, killing Ellis.
The deputy is recovering at home in Holley with his wife and baby and,
Monday, an autopsy is being performed on the man officials say shot the
Chief Deputy Thomas Drennan says, "We could be planning a deputy's funeral at this time."
Drennan adds, "He seems to be doing well, he certainly has some physical injuries that he's going to continue to recover from."
Bruises from shots to his chest stopped by his bulletproof vest from a
gun officials say didn't belong to the suspect, James Ellis. Neither
investigators, nor the district attorney's office, would tell us
anything about whether or not Ellis has a criminal history, but family
members of Ellis confirm that he has been arrested in the past.
Officials did shed some light on his state of mind Saturday morning.
Rebecca Fath: "The incident leading up to what happened; it had something to do with his kids?"
Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone:
"Prior to the confrontation with law enforcement, he had been searching
out the mother of his children, apparently upset over the fact that she
was seeing someone else."
Officials say she called 911 then deputies saw his car and went after
him. After Ellis crashed his car in Clarendon, they say he took off on
foot and fired at deputies hitting DeFilipps in the chest.
Rebecca Fath: "Where did he get the gun?"
Chief Deputy Drennan: "We're still following up where
the gun may have come from. It could have been a residence in Wyoming
County but we still have to track that back."
Deputies also told me they searched his home and didn't recover a lot.
They don't believe the suspect planned on shooting a law enforcement
official. It will be several months before the toxicology results come
out, but we should know the official cause of death sooner than that.