Gunfight in upstate NY injures 3, including Vermont deputy

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — At least three people were injured in a shooting on the streets of Saratoga Springs Sunday morning, including an off-duty Vermont sheriff’s deputy who was shot multiple times by police.

Gunshots rang out at 3 a.m. in the small town’s historic downtown, known for its horse racing, fine restaurants and cultural attractions.

Video from a street camera showed a group of people fighting on the sidewalk, then scattered as shots rang out.

Two men were shooting at each other when police arrived, including a deputy from the Rutland County Sheriff’s Office, according to Saratoga Springs Police Sgt. Paul Veitch.

Body camera video released by the city shows officers running toward the sound of gunfire with their pistols drawn, one of them yelling “Drop the gun!”

When the sheriff’s deputy, who was not in uniform, did not drop his weapon, the Saratoga Springs officers opened fire, according to Public Safety Commissioner James Montagino.

The Times-Union reported that the deputy, who was not immediately identified, was hit by 10 bullets, including one in the chest, but was conscious and expected to survive.

The bullet hit his girlfriend’s hand.

Montagnino said the deputy had gotten into an argument with a group of three men from Utica. The commissioner said that after the fight spilled into the street, the deputy drew his weapon and the Utica man drew his weapon, after which a shootout ensued.

The Times-Union reported that seven to eight shots were fired between the two, and that the deputy shot the Utica man.

Veitch said Sunday evening that all three gunmen who were hospitalized were in stable condition. The authorities did not identify him.

Montagino said it marked the first time in 26 years that a police officer fired a weapon at someone in Saratoga Springs.

“I’m proud of how our officers handled it,” Montagino said. “No one empties their clip.”

For decades, New York has strictly banned the carrying of firearms in public, but a Supreme Court ruling in June ruled that the state’s licensing laws were unconstitutional.

Revised rules that make it illegal to carry firearms inside a bar are the subject of a court challenge, but are still in effect.

“Nobody should be drinking at 3am on Caroline Street who has a weapon. End of story,” said Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim.

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Mason Khan is a core member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercover issues. Follow Mason Khan on Twitter.

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