CAPITAL DISTRICT Last summer marked the first time a Colonie police officer fired shots at a suspect in more than a decade, but it was those actions by Sgt. Daniel Belles that Chief Steve Heider said saved the lives of three civilians and two police officers.
Belles was one of a handful of officers recognized for exceptional service at the annual awards ceremony held in Colonie Justice Court on Thursday, May 24.
“When we look at the job that these men and women do every day — the shifts, the hours, the weekends, the holidays. … We thank all the families,” said Heider.
Belles was presented with the Medal of Valor and Combat Cross Award for his actions on July 20, 2011. It was an incident that began with a hit-and-run, led to the dismantlement of a drug lab and ended in a shootout that killed Agostino Jubrey, the 21-year-old who set off the daylong crime spree.
“The chief briefed me on a set of circumstances that, quite frankly, just is not the set of circumstances that you ever hear about in our community,” said Albany County District Attorney David Soares. “What he described was something out of a violent film, not the kind of incident that you ever expect in a community as safe as Colonie.”
Around 6:30 p.m. on July 20, Belles arrived at a residence in Colonie to meet up with a Columbia County Deputy trying to locate the vehicle and suspect involved in a serious hit-and-run accident involving a motorcycle in Columbia County. Upon arrival, Belles saw Jubrey sitting in the suspected vehicle in the midst of an argument with three other people who were standing in the driveway. When Belles started to walk up the driveway to approach the vehicle, Jubrey made eye contact and opened fire on the three civilians, striking one in the hand, before turning his gun on Belles and the Columbia County Deputy and backing his car into Belles’ patrol car. Jubrey and Belles exchanged 13 rounds before Jubrey was shot in the head. He died from his injuries two days later.