2 Officers Dead, 1 Injured in Apparent Ambush in Connecticut

Efthymis Oraiopoulos
By Efthymis Oraiopoulos
October 14, 2022USshare
2 Officers Dead, 1 Injured in Apparent Ambush in Connecticut
This combo of images provided by the Connecticut State Police, show (L–R) Bristol, Conn., Police Department Sgt. Dustin Demonte, Officer Alex Hamzy, and Officer Alec Iurato. (Connecticut State Police via AP)

Three police officers were shot in Bristol, Connecticut, after a 911 call for domestic violence on Oct. 12. Two of them were killed.

Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, died at the scene, and Sergeant Dustin Demonte, 35, was pronounced deceased after being taken to Bristol Hospital, according to a news release by Connecticut State Police.

Both died of multiple gunshots to their heads and torsos, the state chief medical examiner’s office said Friday

On Oct. 12, 2022, at 10:29 p.m., Bristol Police received a 911 call reporting a possible domestic violence incident between two siblings at 310 Redstone Hill Road.

Police deemed it possible that the call was a “deliberate” action to lure the police officers to danger.

“Upon arrival, Bristol Police Officers were immediately encountered by a suspect outside of 310 Redstone Hill Road. Shots were fired and one officer, Officer Alex Hamzy, died at the scene, while two other officers were also shot,” the news release said.

Officer Alec Iurato was transported to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where he has undergone surgery for serious wounds, according to the police report. He was released on Thursday morning.

Neighbor Danny Rodriguez said he was outside his home across the street when the gunfire rang out.

“I heard a whole war going on behind me,” he said. “It was so loud and crazy.”

At one point, he said, a woman screamed, “You … killed them!”

Suspect Nicholas Brutcher, 35, was also shot and pronounced deceased at the scene. He died from a gunshot wound to the neck with spinal cord injuries, the medical examiner’s office said late Friday afternoon. His brother, Nathan Brutcher, 32, was shot and transported to St. Francis for treatment of his wounds.

While authorities say Nicholas Brutcher shot the three officers, it remains unclear who shot Brutcher and his brother.

The investigation is ongoing and led by detectives from the Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Unit.

The two deceased officers, Demonte and Hamzy, had served in the department for 10.5 and 8 years respectively. Iurato has served for four years. All of them were serving as members of the Bristol Police Department.

“They thought they were going somewhere to give help, and their lives were needlessly taken, and another seriously injured,” Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould said at a vigil Thursday evening.

Demonte was “very focused on his career and furthering his career and education,” the chief said. Demonte, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology, had worked as a school resource officer. He and his wife were expecting their third child, Gould said.

“We will never forget our Bristol Police heroes,” Commissioner James Rovella from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection said.

“Wednesday night was shattering for the Bristol Police. Losing a member of your law enforcement family is a heartbreaking tragedy. The Connecticut State Police offers sincerest condolences to our brothers and sisters at the Bristol Police Department as they cope with the inconceivable grief of losing two officers in the line of duty,” Colonel Stavros Mellekas from Connecticut State Police said in a statement.

Bristol is about 15 miles southwest of the state capital of Hartford, and is home to about 60,000 people.

Nationwide, 54 officers have died by gunfire on the job so far this year, compared to 62 throughout 2021, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a nonprofit organization that tracks U.S. police officer deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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