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Wyoming County man threatened ex-girlfriend with stolen gun before fatal shootout, authorities say

Shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday, James Ellis put the barrel of a gun to his ex-girlfriend’s head.

Ellis demanded to know where the woman’s current boyfriend was, police were told.

But the 44-year-old left the home on Mill Street in the Town of Shelby, Orleans County, without hurting her or anyone else.

About 15 minutes later, after a car chase with police, Ellis crashed his car into a telephone pole and then exchanged gunfire in the woods with an Orleans County sheriff’s deputy.

Neighbors heard a large number of shots.

Ellis, of the Village of Wyoming, who police say was in possession of a .45-caliber handgun that recently had been reported stolen from a home in Wyoming County, died at the scene on Fourth Section Road in the Town of Clarendon.

In an update from the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office issued Tuesday, the agency said the investigation continues into what happened. The Sheriff’s Office said it anticipates that the results of the investigation will be presented to a grand jury by the Orleans County District Attorney’s Office sometime in April.

Law enforcement officials from the Orleans County Major Felony Crimes Task Force, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office and the Wyoming County Probation Department executed a search warrant at Ellis’ home later Saturday.

They said they found “no evidence of any substance” that could explain his actions from earlier in the day.

Results from Ellis’ autopsy by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office may take several weeks, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Sheriff’s Deputy James DeFilipps, who was shot twice in the abdomen, was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time. After being treated and released from Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, he continues to recover from his wounds and is expected to make a full recovery, after which he will return to duty, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, in its news release, said it is extremely grateful for the “outpouring of support” that it has received since the incident.

email: abesecker@buffnews.com