Medical examiner: 2 officers died from multiple gunshots

Oct 14, 2022, 1:16 PM | Updated: 6:09 pm
FILE - Police officers from towns across Connecticut stand at the scene where two police officers w...

FILE - Police officers from towns across Connecticut stand at the scene where two police officers were killed, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in Bristol, Conn. The deaths of two Connecticut police officers and the wounding of a third during an especially violent week for police across the U.S. fit into a grim pattern, law enforcement experts say. Even as the number of officers has dropped in the past two years, the number being targeted and killed has risen. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

Two Connecticut police officers who were killed in an apparent ambush both died of multiple gunshots to their heads and torsos, the state chief medical examiner’s office said Friday as law enforcement officials remained tightlipped about the shooting.

The two Bristol officers, Sgt. Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy, were gunned down Wednesday night outside a home where they responded to a 911 call about possible domestic violence that authorities said appeared to be a “deliberate act” to lure police there. A third officer, Alec Iurato, was also hit by gunfire but survived.

On Friday afternoon, a procession brought Demonte’s body to a funeral home in his hometown of North Haven, where he lived with his pregnant wife and two children. A subsequent procession brought Hamzy’s body to a funeral home in Plymouth.

Video posted online showed the hearse carrying Hamzy drive past a large crowd gathered at a candlelight vigil on the street surrounding the Bristol police station.

The suspected shooter, Nicholas Brutcher, 35, also was shot dead at the scene. He died from a gunshot wound to the neck with spinal cord injuries, the medical examiner’s office said late Friday afternoon. His death was classified as a homicide, meaning he did not shoot himself.

Brutcher’s brother, Nathan Brutcher, also was wounded in the shooting. Information on his condition was not available.

Law enforcement officials, meanwhile, released no new information about the shooting Friday.

Here is what is known, and not known, about Wednesday night’s shooting:

WHO SHOT WHO?

While authorities say Nicholas Brutcher shot the three officers, it remains unclear who shot Brutcher and his brother.

On Friday, state police referred questions to the state inspector general’s office, which is overseeing the investigation by state police. The inspector general’s office released no new information, and a spokesperson did not return messages Friday.

Several other officials did not return messages, including a spokesperson for Bristol police and Bristol Mayor Jeffrey Caggiano.

Witnesses said they heard around 30 gunshots and smoke from the shots filled the air.

WHAT LED TO THE SHOOTING?

Law enforcement officials also have not released any information on the events that preceded the killings or a motive.

WHO WERE THE OFFICERS?

Police officials said all three officers were respected and had received commendations.

Demonte, 35, was a 10-year veteran officer and co-recipient of his department’s 2019 Officer of the Year award. His wife is expecting their third child.

Hamzy, 34, worked eight years for his hometown police force. Like Demonte, he was an adviser to a police cadet program.

Iurato, 26, joined the Bristol department in 2018 and has a bachelor’s degree in government, law and national security. He was released from a hospital Thursday morning.

WHO WAS THE SUSPECTED SHOOTER?

Nicholas Brutcher was a divorced father of two and a gun, hunting and fishing enthusiast, according to his social media pages.

In a photo posted on both brothers’ Facebook pages in 2016, Nicholas Brutcher is pointing a handgun at the camera while others including Nathan Brutcher are holding rifles.

Other photos show Nicholas Brutcher with a 10-point deer he shot and with fish he caught.

Online state court records list no pending criminal cases or convictions for either brother.

WHAT’S NEXT?

What is expected to be an intensive investigation by state police is underway and no timetable has been set for the release of any information. Inspector General Robert Devlin is expected to issue a report at some point.

Funeral services for Demonte and Hamzy are expected within the coming week or so and are expected to draw scores of police officers.

Funeral plans for Nicholas Brutcher are unknown.

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Medical examiner: 2 officers died from multiple gunshots