Two Conn. Police Officers Killed While Responding to Possible Fake Call About Fight Between Brothers

Bristol Police Department Sgt. Dustin Demonte, 35, a married father of two with “one on the way,” and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, were killed in a possible ambush in the line of duty, say authorities

Two Connecticut police officers were killed and one was seriously injured while responding to a domestic incident call between two brothers in Bristol that may have been "a deliberate act to lure law enforcement to the scene," Connecticut State Police said Thursday.

Sgt. Dustin Demonte, 35, a married father of two with "one on the way" and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, of the Bristol Police Department were killed Wednesday night in the line of duty, Chief Brian Gould of the Bristol Police Department said at a press conference Thursday morning.

Officer Alec Iurato, 26, was seriously wounded and was rushed to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where he is recovering from surgery, Connecticut State Police said in a statement.

"Words cannot express the sadness and grief that brings me before you this morning," Gould said.

"Our men and women of the Bristol Police Department are privileged and honored to serve on the front lines," he said, his voice cracking with emotion. "That's what these heroes did last night. They answered a call to duty and responded without hesitation.

Sgt. Dustin Demonte, Officer Alex Hamzy
Bristol, Conn., Police Sgt. Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy. Bristol Police Department (2)

"Our community has been rocked, our police department has been rocked," he said, calling it "senseless violence."

Police sources told ABC News that one of the suspects made a possibly fake 911 call about a domestic dispute and allegedly ambushed the officers with an AR-15-style rifle.

Officials did not address this at the press conference, but in a statement released later Thursday morning, Connecticut State Police confirmed that the officers may have been lured to the residence.

Officer Alec Iurato
Bristol, Conn. Police Officer Alec Iurato. Bristol Police Department

"Preliminary investigation has found that 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," the statement said.

Preliminary information "appears to point to the 911 call being a deliberate act to lure law enforcement to the scene," the statement reads.

"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," it continued.

Sgt. Demonte was rushed to Bristol Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Suspect Nicholas Brutcher, 35, was shot and killed at the scene, the statement said. His brother, Nathan Brutcher, 32, was shot and taken to St. Francis Hospital. His condition is unclear.

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Residents were alarmed when they heard so many gunshots in their usually quiet neighborhood.

"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," Ted Krawiec told local news station WFSB. "And then [we] started hearing sirens and everything else."

Police provided few details about the shooting at Thursday's press conference.

"There is so much unknown with this investigation," Sgt. Jeltema said. "This is very complex. It seems like it's been hours, but it's still brand new and it's active and ongoing."

A ten-year veteran of the force, Sgt. Demonte was a school resource officer and an advisor in the Explorer program, Gould said. He won several awards including Officer fo the Year in 2019 and the Silver Star, Gould said.

He is survived by his pregnant wife Laura and their two children, said Chief Gould.

An eight-year veteran of the force, Officer Hanzy grew up in Bristol and was also an advisor in the Explorer program, said Gould. He received numerous letters of recognition over the years, he said. He leaves behind his wife, Katie, his parents and two sisters.

Hired in 2018, Officer Iurato was assigned to the patrol division. He is a member of the department's central region in emergency response team.

On Thursday morning, a procession of police cars led vehicles with the bodies of the two slain officers from the hospital to the medical examiner's office in nearby Farmington.

Governor Ned Lamont directed U.S. and state flags to be lowered to half-staff across Connecticut in honor of the fallen officers.

"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," Governor Lamont said in a statement.

"I also ask the residents of Connecticut to keep in their prayers a third officer who was shot while responding to this emergency and is currently in the hospital with serious injuries.

"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. These officers are heroes and will always be remembered for the honorable service they provided to their town and their state."

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