Two Connecticut officers killed in Bristol were ambushed, police say
BRISTOL, CT (WFSB) - Two officers were killed and one was seriously injured in what state police called a deliberate act to lure law enforcement to an address in Bristol.
Bristol police identified the officers who died as 35-year-old Sgt. Dustin DeMonte and 34-year-old Officer Alex Hamzy.
The officer who was seriously hurt was 26-year-old Alec Iurato. Bristol police said went in for surgery at St. Francis Hospital.
Iurato was released from St. Francis Hospital late Thursday morning to a standing ovation from colleagues and other officers:
The Office of the Inspector General said Sergeant Dustin DeMonte, Officer Alex Hamzy, and Officer Alec Iurato responded to 310 Redstone Hill Road based on a 911 call believed to have been made by Nicholas Brutcher.
Troopers identified the suspect as 35-year-old Nicholas Brutcher.
Officers went to the side door of the house and spoke to Nathan Brutcher.
They ordered Nathan Brutcher to show his hands and step out of the house. As Nathan Brutcher stepped out, gunfire erupted.
Nicholas Brutcher fired well over eighty rounds attacking the officers from behind, fatally shooting both Sergeant DeMonte and Officer Hamzy, and wounding Officer Iurato.
Despite sustaining a gunshot wound to his leg, Officer Iurato was able to make his way around the house and back to a Bristol Police Department cruiser.
From that vantage point, he fired one shot striking and killing Nicholas Brutcher.
The Office of the Inspector General said based on evidence collected so far, that Officer Iurato’s use of deadly force was justified.
The medical examiner’s office said Brutcher’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the neck with a spinal cord injury. His death was ruled a homicide.
State police confirmed that officers responded to a home on Redstone Hill Road in Bristol shortly after 11 p.m. on Wednesday.
Troopers said Bristol officers were lured to the home for a fake domestic incident between two brothers, then ambushed.
The suspect waited outside for the officers. According to sources, he was dressed in camouflage.
Sources told Eyewitness News that the suspect shot the officers with an AR-15.
When the officers arrived, state police said Nicholas Brutcher killed Hamzy upon arrival. The second officer, DeMonte, later died at the hospital.
According to the medical examiner’s office, Hamzy and DeMonte sustained several gunshot wounds.
Iurato underwent treatment at the hospital for what was described as serious wounds.
Sergeant DeMonte’s family spoke with Channel 3.
“He didn’t deserve what happened to him. The other officers didn’t deserve it either. I’m trying to remember as much as possible about him,” said Bryana Sanzaro, DeMontes cousin. “I am proud to say that I am the cousin of a true hero.”
“It’s an absolute tragedy. I keep thinking, why Dustin?” said Dorothy Sanzaro, DeMonte’s grandmother. “His wife is beautiful, he has two young children.”
Nicholas Brutcher, meanwhile, was killed at the scene and his death was ruled a homicide.
His brother, 32-year-old Nathan Brutcher, was also hurt. He was transported to St. Francis Hospital for treatment.
Sources tell Eyewitness News there was a disturbance at Bleachers Bar in Bristol Wednesday night. That resulted in the police department coming into contact with Nicholas Brutcher. What happened between that encounter and the shootings is unclear.
A news conference shed a little light on the situation around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday:
Troopers called the incident isolated.
They asked that thoughts and prayers be with the families, the officers and everyone impacted.
Chief Brian Gould of the Bristol Police Department called the officers heroes.
“They answered a call for duty and responded without hesitation,” Gould said. “That’s what they did every night before that, and that’s what we’ll continue to do day after day. Our community has been rocked. Our police department has been rocked.”
“We’re united in immeasurable grief for those hero officers, for their families and friends and for all of our law enforcement personnel,” said Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano.
The scene was a residential area about a half mile from ESPN.
The officers were transported to Bristol Health, where Channel 3 saw a heavy police presence. Processions took the fallen officers to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington later Thursday morning.
Eyewitnesses told Channel 3 that the frequency of the gunfire was frightening.
“I probably heard 12 to 15 bangs, looked around about a minute later, [then heard] another rapid fire and then one single shot,” said Ken Przygocki, an eyewitness. “Words can’t explain it. These guys protect us. For them to lose their lives which they know every day you got out there life or death.”
“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,” said Ted Krawiec, an eyewitness.
Lifestar also confirmed to Channel 3 that it responded to the area Wednesday night.
Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano announced a vigil will be held at Bristol Eastern High School at 5:30 p.m. and a “Bristol Police Heroes Fund” has been established:
Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage.
Copyright 2022 WFSB. All rights reserved.