New Salem officer commended for de-escalating shooter situation

Staff Writer
Published: 11/29/2021 4:46:58 PM
Modified: 11/29/2021 4:46:26 PM

NEW SALEM – The town’s police chief knew he had something extra to be thankful for this season and drafted a commendation for Officer Zachary Warner, who is credited with potentially saving a shooting victim’s life earlier this month after using de-escalation techniques to disarm the shooter and take him into custody without incident.

On Nov. 14, Warner reportedly received a 911 dispatch call to a New Salem residence on a report of an intentional shooting resulting in serious injuries, according to Chief Joseph Camden. Warner arrived and immediately engaged an armed suspect, later identified as the shooter, and arrested him.

Camden wrote that Warner then retrieved a medical kit from the police cruiser and rushed to render first aid to the shooting victim, who is the shooter’s brother and suffered a significant amount of blood loss from gunshot wounds to the head and forearm. The officer used a tourniquet on the shooting victim’s forearm, possibly saving his life. He continued providing first aid until advanced medical services arrived and took over.

“Officer Warner’s actions exemplified his degree of professionalism and ability to act under stressful conditions while providing life-saving skills, along with de-escalating an armed suspect without incident, has earned him this Commendation,” Camden wrote.

The chief said the commendation – the first he has issued in 34 years on the job – was presented to Warner at the New Salem Police Department on Nov. 26.

“I was very proud of him,” Camden told the Greenfield Recorder. “I was very, very pleased he used his de-escalation training.”

The chief said Warner, who is 26, has been with the department for about a year.

Camden said the victim is resting at home after being discharged from the hospital.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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