2 ‘exceptional’ police officers were shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call in Connecticut
Two highly respected police officers were killed Wednesday night and a third seriously wounded when a suspect fired over 80 rounds at them while they were responding to a domestic disturbance call in Connecticut, authorities said.
(CNN) — Two highly respected police officers were killed Wednesday night and a third seriously wounded when a suspect fired over 80 rounds at them while they were responding to a domestic disturbance call in Connecticut, authorities said.
“Sadly, we lost two exceptional Bristol police officers. And a third was seriously injured as a result of senseless violence,” Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould said Thursday. “To our fallen officers’ families, we will never forget the sacrifice your loved ones have made.”
State police said in a news release the 911 call appears to have been “a deliberate act to lure law enforcement to the scene.”
Around 10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, Bristol police received a 911 call about a possible domestic incident between two siblings, Connecticut State Police Sgt. Christine Jeltema said at a news conference. The caller is believed to have been the suspected gunman, 35-year-old Nicholas Brutcher, the Connecticut Inspector General’s Office said in a Saturday news release.
“When officers arrived, they were immediately met with a suspect outside,” Jeltema said.
“Shots were fired, fatally wounding one officer on scene,” she said.
A female neighbor told CNN affiliate News 12 Connecticut she heard about 10 shots followed by another burst of gunfire.
The other two officers were taken to the hospital, where one of them died and the other was hospitalized with serious injuries, Jeltema said.
Officer Alex Hamzy was killed at the scene and Sgt. Dustin DeMonte died at a hospital, officials said later. The other officer was identified as Alec Iurato.
The suspect — who was identified in a state police news release as Nicholas Brutcher — was shot and killed at the scene, Jeltema said.
“The suspect’s brother was also shot and transported to an area hospital,” she said. “His status at this time is unknown.”
The brother was identified by state police as Nathan Brutcher, 32.
Wounded officer’s body camera footage released
Responding to the call, Sgt. Dustin DeMonte, Officer Alex Hamzy, and Officer Alec Iurato went to the side door of the home and spoke with Brutcher’s brother, Nathan Brutcher, instructing him to show his hands and step out of the house, according to the Inspector General’s press release.
“Gunfire erupted” as Nathan Brutcher stepped out, and the shots were coming from his brother, authorities said.
“Nicholas Brutcher fired well over eighty rounds attacking the officers from behind, fatally shooting both Sergeant DeMonte and Officer Hamzy, and wounding Officer Iurato,” the released states.
After being shot in the leg during the attack, Iurato managed to make his way around the house and back to a police car, the Inspector General’s news release said.
The Inspector General on Friday released a portion of the video from Iurato’s body camera video, in which the wounded officer is heard calling for backup. “Shots fired. shots fired. More cars. Send everyone,” he is heard saying as someone screams in the background. “Officer shot, officer shot,” he continues.
A barrage of what sounds like gunfire is then heard. The officer takes cover behind a parked vehicle and fires his gun towards a driveway.
Iurato fired one shot, striking and killing Nicholas Brutcher, according to the release.
It is “evident from the evidence collected thus far in the investigation that Iurato’s use of deadly force was justified,” the release said.
The slain officers worked to help youth in the community
Bristol’s police chief became visibly emotional describing the two officers killed.
“Words cannot express the sadness and grief,” Gould said.
DeMonte, 35, was also a school resource officer at two Bristol schools and an adviser for the Bristol police explorer cadet program, the chief said.
“Throughout his career, he has received several awards, including the silver star, officer of the month, and co-recipient for officer of the year in 2019,” Gould said.
Demonte is survived by his wife, two children “and one on the way,” the chief said.
Hamzy, 34, was also an adviser for the police explorer cadet program.
“Throughout his career, he received numerous letters of commendations and recognition,” Gould said.
Hamzy is survived by his wife, parents and two sisters.
Iurato, 26, underwent surgery for a “severe gunshot wound and is currently recovering,” the police chief said.
Gov. Ned Lamont ordered US and state flags in Connecticut to be lowered to half-staff.
“The loss of two officers from the Bristol Police Department who were killed in the line of duty while responding to an emergency call of domestic violence is a senseless tragedy, and my prayers are with their families, loved ones, and fellow officers,” the governor said.
On Thursday morning, the two slain officers’ bodies were taken from Bristol Hospital to the medical examiner’s office in Farmington, state police said.
“A procession is occurring now where the 2 Bristol officers who tragically lost their lives will be escorted from Bristol Hospital” to the medical examiner’s office, state police tweeted.
‘They responded without hesitation’
Hours before Wednesday’s shooting in Connecticut, three Philadelphia SWAT officers were wounded in a shooting while trying to serve a warrant to a homicide suspect, police said.
After knocking on a door, the SWAT team was “immediately met by gunfire,” said Philadelphia First Deputy Police Commissioner John Stanford.
A shootout ensued, and the suspect was killed. The three wounded officers are expected to recover, Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw said.
Gould said the fallen Bristol officers epitomized bravery in policing, just like so many officers do every day.
“They answered a call to duty, and they responded without hesitation,” he said. “And that’s what they did every night before that. And that’s what all our officers do and will continue to do.”
Nationwide, the number of police officers intentionally killed in the line of duty reached a 20-year high last year, according to FBI data.
A total of 54 law enforcement officers have been killed by intentional gunfire in 2022, according to the Officer Down Memorial Fund website.
One other officer joined their honor roll Thursday. Las Vegas Police Officer Truong Thai, 49, died from wounds he suffered while responding to a domestic disturbance call at the University of Las Vegas, according to his department.
Thai, who had been with the agency since 1999, was an honorable and commendable officer who had “done a fantastic job as part of the law enforcement community,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.
The suspect in Thai’s killing has been arrested, officials said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of the officer who was wounded. It is Alec Iurato.
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