SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – City officials confirm this is the first time in 26 years that Saratoga officers have needed to use their guns on the job. This after an altercation led to multiple shots being fired and three people being treated for injuries. The video included in this article includes content that some might find graphic in nature.
“First of all, there is no continuing threat to our community,” said Saratoga Springs mayor Ron Kim.
“I decided in the interest of transparency to release at this point certain information that some of the authorities not like to see revealed as soon as now.” Montagnino
Kim and Montagnino released business surveillance video and officer-worn body cam video from the shooting. They held a press conference on Sunday to update the community on the situation.
“What began as an altercation between one individual we understand is an off-duty Vermont sheriff’s deputy and a group of other individuals some or all of whom are from the Utica area,” said the Public Safety Commissioner.
The surveillance video appears to show at least half a dozen people attacking a person on Broadway. The Rutland County Vermont Sheriff confirmed that deputy Vito Caselnova was involved in this altercation.
“The Vermont Deputy is physically attacked by at least three people he is slammed into the hood of a car he’s knocked to the ground he picks himself up and is seen showing by apparently moving his jacket back showing the other individuals that he is armed. One of the other individuals then draws a handgun and points it at the deputy and apparently begins to fire,” explained Montagnino.
That’s when Montagnino said Saratoga police officers on Caroline Street heard the shots and ran over. Montagnino explained what the officers found while responding at Sunday’s press conference.
“As they make that turn what they see is the Vermont Sheriff Deputy standing on the sidewalk with his gun leveled and moving from side to side pointing the gun,” said Montagnino.
Officials say the officers yelled eight times for Caselnova to drop his weapon. The safety commissioner said nearly a dozen rounds were discharged by three officers. Caselnova suffered from about 10 gunshot wounds, and the other man was hit at least two times. Caselnova’s alleged girlfriend suffered a graze wound to her arm.
All three were taken to Albany medical center. The two men are in stable condition, and the woman has since been released.
As with any officer-involved shooting, the commissioner of public safety confirms all three officers involved are on leave. No charges have been filed and the case remains under investigation. Both the mayor and Public Safety Commissioner of Saratoga vowed to make a change to city laws.
“I’m going to be meeting with the bar and restaurant owners and discussing the wisdom of adopting a policy of ‘wanding’ all patrons,” said Montagnino. Wanding refers to using a hand-help metal detector to check for weapons and any other banned items.
Broadway, between Lake Ave. and Division St., reopened to the public around 3:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon. However, some shops and bars along Caroline have posted signage saying they were closed for the day due to the incident.