Bristol, CT – Bristol Police Department (BPD) Sergeant Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy were murdered in the line of duty while responding to a report of a domestic disturbance late Wednesday night.
Sources close to the investigation said the suspect had been kicked out of a bar earlier in the night, WVIT reported.
He was later identified as 35-year-old Nicholas Brutcher.
Brutcher allegedly went home from the bar and got into a fight with his brother, then called 911 to lure police to a residence on Redstone Hill Road and headed outside to wait for them, according to sources close to the investigation.
Connecticut State Police (CSP) said investigators believe the 911 call was a deliberate act to lure police into an ambush, WVIT reported.
Police arrived to the home at approximately 10:29 p.m., CSP Sergeant Christine Jeltema said during an emotional press conference early Thursday morning.
When they arrived, they were “immediately met” by the suspect outside the residence, the sergeant said.
Brutcher opened fire, hitting Sgt. Demonte, Officer Hamzy, and Officer Alex Iurato, WVIT reported.
The gunman’s brother was also shot in the attack, Sgt. Jeltema said.
The officers were able to return fire, killing Brutcher.
Officer Hamzy, 34, died of his wounds at the scene, WVIT reported.
Officer Iurato, 26, and Sgt. Demonte, 35, were rushed to the hospital, where Sgt. Demonte succumbed to his wounds.
Officer Iurato, a four-year BPD veteran, underwent surgery “for a severe gunshot wound,” BPD Chief Brian Gould said during the press conference.
He was released from the hospital on Thursday and is continuing his recovery at home, WVIT reported.
Details regarding the condition of the suspect’s brother were not immediately released.
Officer Hamzy, an eight-year BPD veteran, leaves behind his wife, his parents, and his two sisters, Chief Gould said.
He grew up in the community he served, and was awarded numerous letters of recognition and commendation during his years of service.
Officer Hamzy was assigned to the BPD’s patrol division and was also a cadet advisor at the time of his death, WVIT reported.
Sgt. Demonte, a 10-year veteran of the department, leaves behind two children and his wife, Laura, who is expecting their third baby, Chief Gould said.
He was assigned to the BPD’s patrol division, and also served as a police explorer cadet program advisor and as a Greene-Hills Schools resource officer, WVIT reported.
Sgt. Demonte, who graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminology, was named co-recipient of the 2019 Officer of the Year award.
He had also received the Silver Star and was chosen as Officer of the Month during his decade-long career, WVIT reported.
“Words cannot express the sadness and grief that brings me before you this morning,” Chief Gould said, according to WCVB. “Sadly, we lost two exceptional Bristol police officers, and a third was seriously injured as a result of this senseless violence.”
“Our men and women of the Bristol Police Department are privileged and honored to serve on the frontlines protecting and serving the community of Bristol, and that is what these heroes did last night,” the chief continued. “They answered a call to duty, and they responded without hesitation. That’s what they did every night before that, and that is what all our officers do and will continue to do day after day.”
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont ordered flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of the slain heroes.
“My prayers are with their families, loved ones, and fellow officers,” Lamont said, according to the Hartford Courant. “I also ask the residents of Connecticut to keep in their prayers a third officer who was shot [and seriously injured].”
“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,” the governor added. “These officers are heroes and will always be remembered for the honorable service they provided to their town and their state.”
The 2nd District stands with the Bristol Police Dept after officers Dustin Demonte & Alex Hamzy were killed & Alec Lurato was seriously injured by a gunman who made a phony domestic violence call & ambushed them with an AR-15 at his home.
We send our deepest condolences. pic.twitter.com/Cu3chCm5QP
— Raghib Allie-Brennan (@raghibct) October 13, 2022
— Symphonie Privett (@sprivett_tv) October 13, 2022
— Lindsey Kane (@lindseykanetv) October 13, 2022
🚨 3 OFFICERS DOWN: Please pray for the families and friends of the 2 Bristol Police officers who were fatally shot as well as a third officer who was shot while responding to a domestic incident.
The violence against our law enforcement is out of control. IT MUST STOP! pic.twitter.com/zyJ60P3Rco
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) October 13, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Bristol Police Department (BPD) Sergeant Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Sergeant Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy, your lives mattered.