Schenectady County

Man hit during shootout with police

The town police officer and the sheriff’s deputy arrived at the home to investigate a hit-and-run ac

The town police officer and the sheriff’s deputy arrived at the home to investigate a hit-and-run accident earlier in Columbia County. The fleeing driver was supposed to live in Colonie.

The situation, though, quickly turned into a shootout.

In the end, after what is believed to be 13 shots were fired between the suspect and the town officer, the suspect lay critically wounded, a gunshot wound to his head. The only other injury was to the suspect’s stepfather, shot in the hand immediately prior to officers arriving.

“What we believe happened here is the officers actually stopped an ambush initially and then became the subject of an ambush in the aftermath,” Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider said at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

Heider also said police believe the officer saved five lives: his own, the deputy’s and three people in the driveway. Though the investigation is ongoing, authorities say everything points to the officer being fully justified in using deadly force.

The critically injured suspect is 21-year-old Agostino Jubrey, of 2 Leach Ave., Colonie. He was shot inside his car as he was firing at officers, police said. Jubrey was at Albany Medical Center Thursday, but authorities were unsure of his prognosis, or if he would survive the evening.

The officer who returned fire was identified as Daniel Belles, 28, a veteran of more than five years with the Colonie Police Department. Belles was unharmed.

Authorities said they were unsure whether the bullet that hit Jubrey was fired by the officer or self-inflicted.

Driveway gunplay

The sequence of events that led to the shootout began in the Columbia County town of Kinderhook. There, authorities believe, Jubrey struck a motorcyclist, causing non-life threatening injuries. He then fled to a campsite in Ghent, also in Columbia County. At the campsite, Jubrey and another man are suspected of taking part in a clandestine drug lab, state police there said. The other man was questioned by police shortly after Jubrey stopped at the campsite, police said.

Jubrey returned home to Colonie.

An argument ensued with his mother and stepfather, Randy Booth. A third family friend was also present. The argument, possibly over a small amount of money, spilled into the driveway.

There, Jubrey pulled out the .45-caliber handgun and fired two, possibly three shots, hitting Booth in the hand.

As Jubrey fired, the officer and deputy arrived. Jubrey then turned his attention to the deputy.

Jubrey initially shot at the car driven by Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Toby Van Alstyne. He was there based on license plate information from the earlier hit-run incident.

One shot went into the deputy’s car, another went over it and struck a house. The deputy was reaching for his assault rifle.

Belles stopped behind Jubrey’s car, Jubrey apparently not noticing him. Jubrey got back into his car, tried to back out, but hit the patrol car.Belles got into a firing position outside the car and fired multiple shots in return. Jubrey was hit either by the officer’s shot or his own.

Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares said, “This could have been an incident today where we were talking about the loss of several lives, when, in fact, we’re dealing with one individual who is at this moment in an emergency room holding on to his life.”

Jubrey has had at least one prior felony conviction, which meant he wasn’t supposed to have any gun. When the shooting was over, one shot remained in the chamber of Jubrey’s main weapon, the .45-caliber handgun; the magazine was empty. Next to him in his car was a loaded .32-caliber revolver. He also had a large hunting knife.

Jubrey was charged in February with breaking a woman’s finger and causing scrapes and cuts to her neck in an incident on Warwick Avenue. The resulting misdemeanor assault charge remains pending in Colonie Town Court.

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