Sheriff: Suspect armed with hammer and pellet gun in Wednesday's deputy involved shooting in Pittsford

Posted at: 01/22/2014 4:07 PM
Updated at: 01/23/2014 5:36 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion/Brett Davidsen

News10NBC is learning new information about the shooting near Pittsford Plaza Wednesday afternoon. 

The suspect, Vincenzo Zagari, remains in guarded condition. He was shot in the chest and hand at the M&T Bank on Monroe Avenue Wednesday afternoon. Investigators say it all began with a shoplifting incident at Wegmans and an attempted carjacking at Wegmans. 

Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn showed the media one of the weapons they say Zagari had. It was a pellet gun, but the sheriff says it could be a high caliber gun. 

Police say the 22-year-old shoplifted from Wegmans in Pittsford Plaza Wednesday afternoon, then tried to leave the scene in a car stolen during a bank robbery in Ogden earlier this week. Investigators say he crashed that car in the parking lot and tried to carjack a woman at gunpoint.

After the shoplifting and carjacking happened, investigators say Zagari was confronted by Deputy Bridget Davis across the street at M&T bank. They say he tried to attack her with a hammer. Davis hit the suspect with her baton in the leg and in the arm. That’s when investigators say Zagari drew out a pellet gun and pointed it toward Deputy Davis. She then aimed her weapon and fired, striking him in the chest. 

Sheriff O’Flynn says there was no way she could have known that the gun was not real at the time. Investigators later found two pellet guns, along with the hammer and bags of cocaine and heroin.

Sheriff O’Flynn said the officer involved in the shooting acted with composure and professionalism. He says she went by all the protocols in situations like this. 

Deputy Bridget Davis is a 12 year veteran. The sheriff described her as having a stellar career with sheriff’s office and that all of the witness statements were consistent with hers. She is taking a few days off right now, but is expected to be back at work soon.

Zagari's past

Vincenzo Zagari was on probation at the time of Wednesday's incident in Pittsford. Court records show he had been arrested in 2012 for shooting a man in Wheatland. 

Zagari was an accomplished wrestler at Spencerport High School. In 2009, he was named to the All-Greater Rochester team. 

But in June 2012, he was involved in a shooting incident in Wheatland in which another man was injured. Police, at the time, charged Zagari with first-degree assault and criminal use of a firearm. Both were felonies. The victim was shot in the torso with a shotgun. 

News10NBC spoke with the prosecutor of that case and he says those charges didn’t stick because it turned out to be an apparent case of self-defense. Zagari had gone to meet the other man to sell the shotgun. Prosecutors say that man then tried to steal it and Zagari ended up shooting him. 

Patrick Farrell, Assistant District Attorney, said, "Based on the fact that it may have been a justified shooting and the lack of cooperation from the victim, who was the only other individual out there at the time, we really didn't have enough to make a viable assault prosecution against Mr. Zagari.”

The case ended up being pled down and Zagari was given five years probation for trying to sell a different gun that wasn’t his.

Wednesday’s event would qualify as a violation of Zagari’s probation, which could send him to state prison. Police say they are looking at his potential connection to other violent crimes within the past week.