SHERRILL, N.Y. – NEWSChannel 2 confirmed Friday afternoon that officer James Brown has resigned after his claim of an alleged shots fired incident in Sherrill was found to be unsubstantiated by the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office. District Attorney Scott McNamara confirmed Brown's identity after the case was handed over to his office by the sheriff's office Thursday.
The Criminal Investigation Unit along with the Sherrill Police Department have been investigating the incident since it was reported last Saturday, Sept. 28.
On that day, Brown stated he saw a suspect wearing a hoodie in the backyard of a residence on Thurston Terrace in Sherrill.
Sheriff Robert Maciol says Brown stated the suspect fled after being asked to stop, and a foot chase ensued. During the foot chase, Brown alleged that a handgun was displayed by the suspect, who then fired a single shot at him. Immediately following Brown's report of this incident, a search was conducted by several police agencies.
After interviews with witnesses and an extensive search of the area, police found no evidence to support Brown's allegations of shots fired.
"We dont believe anything happened. The information that the officer provided us, we could not substantiate in any capacity," said Maciol, who added that Brown still believes something happened that day.
Sherrill Police Chief Robert Drake is working with New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services regarding the status of Brown’s police certification with DCJS.
Brown is also an associate professor of criminal justice at Utica College.
Kelly Adams, vice president for marketing and communications at the college, realeased a statement, saying "We are reviewing the available facts, as they concern Utica College. In the meantime, out of respect for the police investigation and fairness to all parties involved, we cannot comment further at this time."