BRISTOL, Connecticut (WTNH) – Two police officers shot dead in Bristol, Connecticut, were apparently lured into a home by an emergency call about possible domestic abuse between two brothers, authorities said Thursday.
Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould identified Sgt. Dustin DeMonte, 35, and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, as officers killed Wednesday night. Officer Alec Iurato, 26, was injured and underwent surgery at a Hartford hospital. He has since been released.
State Police Sgt. Christine Jeltema said officers were responding to a report of domestic violence at around 10.30pm when they encountered someone outside the house and shots were fired. State police said in a statement that the 911 call appears to have been “a deliberate act to draw law enforcement to the scene.”
Sources familiar with the investigation confirmed to Nexstar’s WTNH that the suspects used an AR-15 type firearm in the shooting. These sources also told WTNH that 14 firearms were seized from the home during the investigation.
Hamzy was pronounced dead at the scene. DeMonte was later pronounced dead at Bristol Hospital. A procession led their bodies to the state medical examiner’s office in Farmington.
State police said the suspect, Nicholas Brutcher, 35, was shot and pronounced dead at the scene. Her brother, Nathan Brutcher, 32, was also shot and taken to St. Francis Hospital for treatment of his injuries. His condition was not immediately known.
Police have yet to say who opened fire, who fired the fatal shots or how many guns were fired in all.
Witnesses said they heard three rounds of gunshots, about 30 in all.
“I heard a whole war going on behind me,” said Danny Rodriguez, who said he was outside his house across the street when the shots rang out. It was so intense he could smell gunpowder in the air, he said.
sergeant. Dustin DeMonte, a 10-year veteran of the department who was assigned to the Patrol Division, was co-recipient of his department’s 2019 Officer of the Year award. He and his wife were expecting their third child, Gould said.
Officer Alex Hamzy, an 8-year veteran of the department, was also assigned to the patrol division. He is survived by his wife and parents.
“The outpouring of love, support and prayers from so many is deeply appreciated,” Hamzy’s family said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.
Both men were counselors in a police cadet program.
The injured officer, Officer Alec Iurato, is a 4-year veteran of the department and a member of the patrol division.
“We need your thoughts. We need your prayers.
“We have lost two outstanding Bristol police officers, and a third has been seriously injured following senseless violence,” Gould told a news conference. “We need your thoughts. We need your prayers.
Jeltema said it was an isolated incident and there was no threat to the public.
“This is a very complex ongoing investigation being conducted by Connecticut State Detectives.
Police Major Crimes Unit, at the request of the State Attorney General’s Office,” read a statement released by the state police. “Connecticut State Police and City Police Departments provide mutual assistance to Bristol Police; residents can see nearby agencies covering patrol duties as the Bristol Police Department begins to process this extraordinary loss.
In a statement, the Connecticut State Police Union said it hoped “to provide the comfort and support needed to make a difference for all affected by this cowardly act of violence.”
“Officer Hamzy and Sergeant DeMonte responded to this call for duty with bravery and were
ambushed senselessly for simply protecting and defending others,” the union’s statement read. “These officers put themselves at risk to keep their community safe and made the ultimate sacrifice. All of Connecticut should pause to support and remember these brave officers and their families. »
Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) ordered that state flags be lowered to half mast in honor of the officers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.