BREAKING NEWS IN BRISTOL: A ￼woman walked into the front lobby of the police department and fired a gun into the bullet resistant lobby window. No officers were injured. Tune into channel 3 all morning long for updates. @WFSBnews pic.twitter.com/CH229ok708— Olivia Schueller (@OliviaSchueller) October 6, 2023
A woman is being held on $3 million bond after entering the Bristol Police Department Thursday night and shooting multiple rounds at officers in what the mayor alleges was an attempt at suicide by cop coincidentally almost one year since two members of the department were killed in the line of duty.
At 10:35 p.m. Thursday, 51-year-old Suzanne Laprise of Plainville, entered the Bristol Police Department at 131 North Main St. and fired multiple rounds into the front lobby desk window, which was unoccupied at the time, according to the department.
The rounds did not penetrate the bullet-proof glass but prompted officers to rush to the scene. Laprise fired multiple rounds at the responding officers, causing one of the officers to return fire, according to police. The bullet-proof glass once again stopped the rounds.
At that point, the Laprise set down the firearm. Officers deployed an electric control device and took her into custody without serious injury. She was then transported to a local hospital for treatment before being released back into police custody early Friday.
Laprise faces charges of attempted murder with special circumstances, illegal discharge of a firearm, illegally carrying of firearms under the influence of drugs or alcohol, criminal use of a weapon, violation of pistol permit requirements, illegal possession of a large-capacity magazine, first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace. She was arraigned Friday in New Britain Superior Court.
The Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crimes Division and the Connecticut Office of Inspector General are handling the investigation.
Bristol Mayor Jeffrey Caggiano said he got to the police department at about midnight upon hearing the news and was an “eyewitness” to the aftermath.
“This is a very different situation than a year ago,” Caggiano said, alleging that Laprise appeared ” very inebriated” and “very down” on herself. “She wanted her life to end. The Inspector General is going to investigate, but that’s my opinion.”
Caggiano added that it does not appear Laprise’s actions were “anti-police” or meant to coincide with the anniversary of a shooting that killed two Bristol police officers and injured a third last October.
“Our cops acted extremely heroically once again,” the mayor said. “They saved this woman’s life.”
“This is a very positive end,” Caggiano said, adding that no injuries were reported, clarifying that a head injury Laprise suffered was “self-inflicted” prior to her entering the police department.
In a statement issued Friday, the Bristol Police Department said it “wants to recognize the heroic actions of our officers last night. Despite a truly life-threatening incident, they responded with calm, poise and professionalism, resulting in no loss of life or serious injury to anyone.”
“I am proud that once again in the face of danger, our Bristol Police Department acted professionally and that none of our officers were injured and that the suspect was also not injured and can undergo a mental health screening,” Bristol City Councilman Andrew Howe said in a statement.
“This truly reflects the danger that first responders find themselves in every day, and we are grateful for their service and that no one was hurt last night,” said Scott Rosado, the Democratic candidate running for mayor of Bristol this November. “However, it also speaks to the issue that requires a community response concerning the state of mental health in Bristol and what we can do to support people and families in crisis.
“We are very fortunate to have Bristol Hospital and its services here, and we need to do more to partner with them and others in order to provide a safety net,” added Rosado, a Bristol business owner and former city councilman.
The incident Thursday night comes just a week away from the one-year anniversary of three officers being shot in an ambush attack. On Oct. 12, 2022, Nicholas Brutcher lured police to a home on Redstone Hill Road before gunning down Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy and shooting Officer Alec Iurato, who returned fire and killed Brutcher.
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