A Connecticut community left two police officers dead and a third injured Wednesday night in what investigators are calling an ambush.
Officers were responding to a 911 call for a domestic dispute between brothers in Bristol when the suspect allegedly opened fire.
Investigators believe the call was a fake, a deadly ploy to lure officers to the suspect’s home.
Bristol was nicknamed the “All Heart City”, but now the city’s heart is broken.
The city’s police department has been flooded with flowers and handwritten cards as the community pays tribute to Sgt. Dustin DeMonte and Officer Alex Hamsey.
“It’s a family, a family. That’s why we’re here,” said retired Bristol detective David Carrello.
Carello planted American flags outside the station.
“Retired or not, you are always a police officer.
Officers responded to a 911 call Wednesday night for a domestic dispute at a Bristol residence. When they arrived, investigators say the suspect, 35-year-old Nicholas Brutzer, dressed in camo, got out with an AR-15-style rifle and opened fire on police.
“Heard bang, bang bang bang bang, bang,” said neighbor Ken Bryzicki.
The footage was recorded on a nearby camera.
“They said they had an officer-involved shooting. They’re requesting backup,” a police dispatcher is heard saying.
The suspect was killed and his brother Nathan was injured.
Officer Hamzi, 34, died at the scene. He celebrated his first wedding anniversary this summer.
Sgt. Demonte, 35, died at the hospital. He leaves behind a wife, two children and another on the way.
Officer Alec Iurota, 26, was injured and released from the hospital Thursday.
“Our men and women of the Bristol Police Department are privileged and honored to be on the front lines protecting and serving the Bristol community, and that’s exactly what these heroes did last night,” said Police Chief Brian Gould.
Hours later, police lined the halls of Bristol Eastern High School for a vigil with the community.
“It takes time to heal,” Mayor Jeff Gaggiano said.
“I see all these guys around town. They’re a great police force. I thought I owed it to myself to come down,” resident Howie Theriault said.
Police are working to ascertain the motive behind the apparent ambush and the role of the suspect’s brother.
The last time an officer died on duty in Bristol was in 1944.