A man who authorities say lured officers into a deadly attack fired more than 80 shots at police before being killed by a wounded officer, the Connecticut inspector general’s office said.
Bristol Police Sgt. Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy were responding to a domestic violence call Wednesday night when they were shot and killed, police said. Officer Alec Iurato was injured.
Authorities believe the gunman, 35-year-old Nicholas Brutcher, was the person who made the domestic violence call to 911, the inspector general’s report said.
Connecticut State Police said his brother, 32-year-old Nathan Brutcher, was also at the scene.
“Officers went to the side door of the residence and spoke with Nathan Brutcher,” the report said. “When Nathan Brutcher stepped out, shots erupted. Nicholas Brutcher fired well over eighty rounds and attacked the officers from behind, fatally shooting both Sergeant Demonte and Officer Hamzy and wounding Officer Iurato.”
Despite being shot in the leg, “Officer Iurato was able to get around the house and back to a Bristol Police Department cruiser,” the report said. “From that vantage point, he fired a shot that struck and killed Nicholas Brutcher.”
Iurato’s use of deadly force appears to be justified, the inspector general’s office said.
Connecticut State Police are investigating the shooting. The agency said the 911 call appeared to be “a deliberate act to lure law enforcement to the scene.”
All three officers’ body cameras captured the shooting. But to respect the victims’ privacy, the inspector general released only a portion of the video from Iurato’s bodycam footage.
“Shots fired. Shots were fired. Multiple cars. Send everybody,” the wounded officer says as someone screams in the background. “Officer shot, officer shot.”
A barrage of what sounds like gunshots follows. Iurato takes cover behind a parked vehicle and fires at a driveway.
At least 54 law enforcement officers have been killed by intentional gunfire in 2022, according to the Officer Down Memorial Fund website.
A day after Demonte and Hamzy were killed in Connecticut, Las Vegas Officer Truong Thai was killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call Thursday, Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.
The Las Vegas Police Protective Association said Thai was a 23-year police veteran.
“Not only was Officer Thai a protector of our community, he was a father, a son and a brother,” the union said. “These senseless acts of violence are becoming all too common in our society.”
Las Vegas police arrested the suspect shortly after the shooting. On Monday, Assistant Sheriff Andrew Walsh said the weapon that killed Thai was an AK-47 pistol.
On Wednesday, three Philadelphia SWAT officers were wounded in a shooting while trying to serve a warrant on a homicide suspect, police said.
After knocking on a door, the SWAT team was “immediately met with gunfire,” said Philadelphia First Deputy Police Commissioner John Stanford.
A shootout ensued and the suspect was killed. The three injured officers are expected to recover, Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw said.
Nationwide, the number of police officers intentionally killed in the line of duty hit a 20-year high last year, according to FBI data.
Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould became visibly emotional as he described his two slain officers.
“We lost two exceptional Bristol police officers. And a third was seriously injured as a result of senseless violence,” Gould said Thursday.
Demonte, 35, was also a school resource officer at two Bristol schools and a counselor 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 of the 2019 Officer of the Year,” Gould said.
Demonte is survived by his wife, two children “and one on the way,” the chief said.
Hamzy, 34, was also an adviser to the police explorer cadet program.
“Throughout his career he received numerous letters of commendation 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 Thursday.
Gould said the Bristol officers epitomized police bravery, as so many officers do every day.
“They answered a call for service and they responded without hesitation,” he said. “And that’s what they did every night before that. And that’s what all of our officers are doing and will continue to do.”