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City officials in upstate New York have been barred from making further public comments about the officer-involved shooting of a Vermont sheriff’s deputy, WNYT reports. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office got a temporary restraining order from a Supreme Court judge prohibiting Saratoga Springs officials from talking about or releasing video or audio from the incident, the outlet said.

  • Earlier Report: Off-Duty Deputy From Vermont Shot By Police In Capital Region (Video)

The shooting, which was captured on officer-worn body camera footage that was released hours after the incident, happened at around 3 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, near Broadway and Caroline Street in Saratoga Springs.

Police said the off-duty deputy was attacked by a group of six people, prompting him to pull a gun.

That’s when one of the men in the group fired, leading to an exchange of seven or eight gunshots, police said.

The shootout was heard by several Saratoga Springs police officers, who can be seen on nearby security footage arriving within seconds.

In the footage, officers are heard repeatedly yelling at the deputy to drop his gun, but he refuses. Police then open fire, striking the deputy numerous times.

"As they make that turn what they see is the Vermont sheriff's deputy standing on the sidewalk," Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino said at a press conference held hours later.

"His gun leveled and moving from side to side, pointing the gun. You hear the officers repeatedly, loudly, direct the deputy to drop the gun, get on the ground, again and again."

Both the deputy and his girlfriend, who police said was grazed by the gunfire, were taken to a hospital and were in stable condition.

Police said the deputy had a total of 10 bullet wounds.

The other man involved in the shooting was also injured and is expected to survive, according to police.

The three Saratoga Springs police officers involved in the shooting were not injured. They have since been placed on leave while State Police investigate the incident

On Wednesday, Nov. 23, Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen told WNYT the unprecedented release of information regarding the shooting has had a chilling effect on witnesses and could taint the jury pool.

“I didn’t want to do this, but felt compelled to ensure the integrity of the investigation and protect the constitutional rights of all involved,” Heggen told the outlet.

Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino blasted the move in a statement released Wednesday evening and vowed the city would appeal.

“While the district attorney claims to be seeking to protect constitutional rights, she has blatantly violated the First Amendment by obtaining a jurisdictionally defective order, without notice to the city, which deprives elected officials of their right to inform the public of profoundly important events unfolding in their city,” he said. 

“I have spoken to (Saratoga Springs) Mayor Ron Kim and the city intends to fight this in court promptly and vigorously.”

Sunday’s shooting was the first time in 26 years a Saratoga Springs police officer fired their weapon in the line of duty.

Read the full report from WNYT here.  

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Crime and Public Safety | San Mateo police collect 288 guns through buyback event

SAN CARLOS — A total of 288 firearms were collected during an anonymous gun buyback event held in San Mateo County on Saturday.

The collection, which took place in San Carlos, included six assault weapons and 18 “ghost” or untraceable, guns.

The event was hosted by San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, Redwood City Police Chief Dan Mulholland, Belmont Police Chief Ken Stenquist, and the Citizens for San Mateo County Gun Buyback.

Those who took part surrendered their weapons, no questions asked, in exchange for $50 to $200 in cash.

Similar buyback events have taken place in other Bay Area cities over the past few months, including in Pittsburg and Livermore.

Bolanos said that additional buyback events will be held in the new year.

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“The purpose of the gun buyback program is to make the County of San Mateo safer for those who live and work here. Many households in the county have unwanted, unused, and unsecured guns. The purpose of the gun buyback is to get rid of guns, no questions asked,” he said.

“We are providing a place for people to come and dispose of them and get some money in return.
We feel this will improve public safety in our county.”

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