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Two police officers were shot and killed and a third was injured Wednesday in what is reported to be an ambush attack.
The officers were shot while responding to a domestic violence call at a residence in Bristol, Connecticut, state police said.
Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould identified the slain officers as Sgt. Dustin DeMonte, 35, and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34. The third officer, Alex Iurato, 26, was taken to the hospital for surgery and is recovering, WTNH-TV reported.
Police said the officers responded to a domestic violence call involving two siblings Wednesday night. When they arrived, they were met by a man outside the home.
“Shots were fired, fatally wounding one officer on scene,” state police Sgt. Christine Jelteman said at a news conference Thursday.
The two other officers were hit by gunfire, Jelteman said. One died at the hospital and the other was seriously wounded and treated for his injuries.
The suspected gunman, Nicholas Brutcher, was also fatally shot, and his brother was shot and wounded, Jelteman said. Police believe the 911 call was meant to lure officers to the scene for an ambush.
ABC News reported that the gunman used an AR-15-style rifle.
"Our community has been rocked," Gould told reporters.
DeMonte "was assigned to our patrol division and was a school resource officer," the police chief said. "He was also an adviser for the Bristol police explorer cadet program. 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."
He is survived by his wife and two children, with a third on the way, Gould said.
Hamzy, who grew up in Bristol, is survived by his wife, the chief said.
Iurato was released from a Hartford hospital Thursday morning and was greeted by fellow police officers and applause.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) ordered flags in the state to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the officers.
"I am directing flags in Connecticut lowered to half-staff effective immediately in honor of two Bristol Police officers who were killed in the line of duty late last night while responding to an emergency call of domestic violence at a private residence in town," Lamont said in a statement.
"This is a senseless tragedy, and my prayers are with their families, loved ones, and fellow officers. I also ask the residents of CT to keep in their prayers a third officer who was shot and is currently in the hospital with serious injures," the governor added.
"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 state. This continues to be an active situation, and I’ve directed DESPP Commissioner James Rovella and the CT State Police to support Bristol police and the greater community in every way they can."
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