Medal Of Valor: Deputy Joey Tortorella Takes A Bullet To Stop Active Shooter


It was lunchtime for Deputy Joey Tortorello. As he ate his Stinger Taco, dispatch let him know they received a hang up 911 call near Errick Road Elementary School.

House Check

When Tortorella knocked on the door, a young man opened the door and quickly shut it saying he would return. That’s when Tortorella heard a woman’s scream from inside the home.

He immediately radioed for back up and retreated away from the door, closer to his vehicle. As he moved back, he saw the man coming out of the back of the home with his hands covered in blood.

Tortorella was concerned. The school was close by and his wife was a teacher there, plus his children attended the school. He had dispatch order a lockdown for the school in case the man went that direction.

Sketchy Suspect

Tortorella told the man to get on his knees and tried to have a conversation with this. The man was all over the map with his responses and kept reaching for his waistband.

“If you reach for a gun or weapon, I’m going to shoot you.”

Deputy Tortella

The suspect replied, “If you do, shoot me in the (expletive) head.” Quickly, he pulled a handgun from his waist and was hit in the leg, back and stomach by Tortorella.

But he did not stop. Instead, he ran behind the patrol car and shot at Tortella hitting him in the rib cage, knocking the Taser holster off his chest. Tortorella kept firing at the suspect using a tree for cover.

Protecting the School

He was afraid to stop because, “I didn’t want to lose,” he said. He only paused to reload and kept firing. The man went to the back of the house and Tortorella followed since that was in the direction of the school, seeking cover behind a car.

When back up arrived on the scene, they found Duane A. Bores Jr. dead in the home from a self-inflicted shot to the head, with his parents Duane and Cynthia Bores bleeding nearby.

Tortorella received many honors for his bravery including New York State Deputy Sheriff of the Year. His biggest honor though was receiving the Medal of Honor.

It was presented to him by President Obama who as he put it around his neck said, “I’m proud of you, man.”




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