Two Connecticut police officers fatally shot, one injured in Bristol
The officers were shot on Wednesday night while responding to a report of an altercation between two brothers
Sgt. Dustin Demonte, 35, and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, were fatally shot responding to a residence on Redstone Hill Road shortly before 11 pm
Officer Alec Iurato, 26, was seriously wounded, expected to survive
Iurato remains in recovery following surgery for a serious gunshot wound, police said
Male suspects were also shot, their names were not released
One of the suspects was pronounced dead on the scene, while the brother was transferred to an area hospital, his condition unknown
Two Connecticut police officers were killed and another critically wounded when they were shot in Bristol Wednesday night while responding to a report of an altercation between two brothers, authorities said.
Bristol Police Sgt. Dustin Demonte, 35, and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, were fatally shot responding to a residence on Redstone Hill Road shortly before 11 p.m., Connecticut State Police Sgt. Christine Jeltema said Thursday.
They arrived to find one suspect already outside.
“Shots were fired, fatally wounding one officer at the scene,” Jeltema told reporters.
A second officer was pronounced dead at the hospital, while another, Officer Alec Iurato, 26, was seriously wounded.
The suspected gunman, Nicholas Brutcher, 35, was also shot and killed at the scene, the Connecticut State Police said.
The suspect’s brother, Nathan Brutcher, 32, who was also shot, was taken to a hospital for treatment.
His condition is unknown, and it was not clear whether he had been shot by the police or by his brother. But officials have not identified him as a suspect in the attack.
The call came in late on Wednesday night, the authorities said. The police were needed at a house in suburban Bristol, Conn., to investigate a possible domestic dispute.
When three Bristol police officers arrived, they were met by a man with a gun, the authorities said. Shots were fired, and Sgt. Dustin Demonte, 35, and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, were killed in what officials are describing as an apparent ambush.
When the police arrived, Nicholas Brutcher was already standing outside the house and soon shot at the officers, officials said. Mr. Hamzy was shot dead at the scene, while Sergeant Demonte was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead there.
“Words cannot express the sadness and grief that brings me before you this morning,” Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould told reporters.
Gould lamented the loss of “two exceptional police officers” to “senseless violence.”
Demonte, in particular, was a 2019 co-recipient for Officer of the Year. He leaves behind his wife, Laura, who is pregnant, and two children.
Hamzy was a native of Bristol who graduated from Bristol Eastern High School in 2006. He is survived by his wife, Katie, his parents, and two sisters.
The police chief said Lurato remains in recovery following surgery for a serious gunshot wound.
“[Bristol PD] is privileged and honored to serve on the front lines protecting the community. That’s what these heroes did last night,” Gould said.
“We need your support, we need your thoughts, we need your prayers.”
Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano also spoke briefly, saying that the city’s hearts “are broken” for the “hero officers.”
Jeltema held back tears at the end of the press conference, asking the public to “please be patient” during the “very complex” investigation.
Earlier on Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont called the shooting “senseless.”
“This is a senseless tragedy, and my prayers are with their families, loved ones, and fellow officers. I also ask the residents of CT to keep in their prayers a third officer who was shot and is currently in the hospital with serious injuries,” he said on Twitter.
“This is a devastating reminder of the dangers that police officers face every day to protect our families and neighbors from all kinds of situations. These officers are heroes and will always be remembered for the honorable service they provided to their town and state.”
The governor added that flags in Connecticut will be lowered to half-staff effective immediately in honor of the slain cops.
State Sen. Henri Martin, a Republican from Bristol, also released a statement on the shooting.
“Words cannot sum up our sadness and emotions,” he wrote.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our Bristol Police Department, their families, and our entire law enforcement community.”
A police procession featuring officers from around Connecticut accompanied the fallen officers from Bristol Hospital to the medical examiner’s office in Farmington early Thursday.
A shaken eyewitness, who described Bristol as a “peaceful town,” said the rapid gunfire was frightening.
“We just, like, hearing the gunshots like ‘pop pop pop pop pop pop’ up and stop, and then stop for maybe 30 seconds and then another round ‘pop pop pop pop pop’ and then it just stopped. And then [we] started hearing sirens and everything else,” Ted Krawiec told the channel.
“It’s scary, especially Bristol is a peaceful town and it’s scary to hear something like this is happening here,” he added.
Nearby resident Robyn Lauzon described the scene as a “war zone.”
“It was horrible. I heard three rounds of nine or 10 gunshots each,” she said, the Middletown Press reported.
“It was scary as hell — and the sirens were crazy. It was like a war zone.”
A Connecticut State Police officer told The Post early Thursday that the agency was asked to assist the Bristol Police Department.
The fatal shooting comes less than a week after a New Haven cop was shot and wounded while investigating a traffic accident, the Connecticut Post reported.
Officer Chad Curry was shot in the ear and shoulder about 1:30 a.m. Friday and was later released from a hospital, according to the news outlet. The suspected gunman, Jose Claudio, was later caught.