Friday, July 13, 2007

James Cirillo Dies in Vehicle Accident

Gun expert dies in Brookfield accident

July 13, 2007
By Jennifer Fusco

BROOKFIELD — A well-known gun expert and author was killed and another man injured in a tractor-trailer-car collision Thursday night, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

James Cirillo, 76, of West Edmeston, was driving west on Welsh Road around 7 p.m. when his vehicle entered Route 8 into the path of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer driven by Christopher Madison, 36, of Richardson Avenue in Utica, deputies said.

The tractor-trailer struck Cirillo’s vehicle on the driver’s side, deputies said.

Cirillo died at the scene. Madison was treated for back injuries at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica, deputies said.

Cirillo taught numerous firearm classes and wrote several books, including “Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights: Lessons and Tales From a Modern-Day Gunfighter.” He also had several videos.

Violet Jimenez, Cirillo’s partner of nine years who lived with him in West Edmeston, said he was a renowned firearms instructor and a retired New York City police officer.

“If you check the Internet, you’ll find everything about him,” she said. “He was a very humorous man and loved his hunting and fishing. He was just a very vibrant person.”

According to, Cirillo spent many years with the New York City Police Stakeout Unit and participated in more than 250 armed encounters. He also spent years as a firearms instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

Since retiring from law enforcement, Cirillo has conducted periodic firearms training courses, the site states.

Witnesses to the accident told deputies that Cirillo’s car appeared to enter Route 8 to possibly make a U-turn. He apparently did not realize the tractor-trailer was rounding a curve near the intersection, deputies said.

Guide rails prevented both vehicles from going over a steep embankment, deputies said.

Deputies, along with the Sheriff’s Office accident reconstruction team and evidence specialists, are continuing their investigation today.

No charges have been filed against Madison, deputies said.