An off-duty Vermont sheriff’s deputy was shot multiple times by local police responding to an early-morning altercation Sunday in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Deputy Vito Caselnova IV, the off-duty deputy, was apparently involved in some kind of argument with a group of people in the small town about 35 miles north of Albany, WTEN-TV reported.
James Montagnino, the Saratoga Springs commissioner of public safety, said in a Sunday afternoon news conference that Caselnova and a group of people got into a verbal disagreement around 3 a.m. The fight became physical when Caselnova was knocked into a parked car, WTEN added.
After that, Caselnova allegedly showed that he was armed with a gun.
Another person involved in the fight was also reportedly armed. Montagnino reported that seven or eight shots were allegedly fired between Caselnova and the other person.
Saratoga Springs police were nearby and heard the shots, WTEN reported.
Montagnino said that when officers ran up the hill and around the corner to the scene of the incident, according to the body cam footage, they saw Caselnova standing on the sidewalk “and moving from side to side, pointing the gun.”
The police officers “[r]epeatedly, loudly, direct the deputy, ‘Drop the gun. Get on the ground,'” Montagnino said.
The officers shouted this multiple times. Montagnino said that according to the body cam footage, there were about eight times that the police officers made this command to Caselnova.
The Vermont deputy allegedly ignored these instructions. As he turned with the gun in his hand, the police fired on him, Montagnino said.
The whole incident was less than a minute long, he added. The officers then rushed to give aid to the injured.
“And by the end of that minute, our officers are providing aid to both the individual who was apparently shot by the deputy and is lying on Broadway, and they also provide aid to the Vermont deputy as well,” Montagnino added.
Caselnova ended up with 10 bullet wounds.
Montagnino also added that the body cam footage showed a woman, who they think was Caselnova’s girlfriend, was “nicked” in the upper arm by a bullet.
All told, three people were wounded in the incident, but all three are expected to survive, WNYT reported.
The city officials then showed the body cam footage from the incident at the press conference.
Montagnino added that this incident with the Vermont deputy was the first time in 26 years that any Saratoga Springs police officer had fired a gun in the line of duty.
“Outside of a training exercise, or putting down a rabid animal, this is the first time in 26 years that an officer of the Saratoga Springs Police Department had to discharge a firearm in the line of duty,” Montagnino said.
The state police were called to assist with the investigation, Montagnino also reported.
Security video shows the situation escalating rapidly.
It is also unclear why Caselnova was in Saratoga Springs or what the argument was about.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.