Home News ‘Send everyone:’ Fatal police ambush footage released

‘Send everyone:’ Fatal police ambush footage released


Austin Mirmina, Ben Lambert, Richard Chumney

Connecticut Post, Bridgeport

BRISTOL — Body-worn camera footage released Sunday shows the chaotic moments before a wounded city police officer fatally shot a suspect who killed two other officers in an apparent ambush last week.

The state Office of the Inspector General, which is tasked with investigating shootings involving police officers, released the two-minute clip after ruling that Officer Alec Iurato, 26, was justified in using deadly force during a Wednesday night shooting outside a Redstone Hill Road home.

State police have said Iurato fatally shot Nicholas Brutcher, 35, who had killed Sgt. Dustin DeMonte, 35, and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, after the officers were lured to the house by an apparent hoax call.

Despite being struck in the leg during the shooting, Iurato managed to seek cover behind a police cruiser before firing a single shot that killed Nicholas Brutcher, the footage shows.

Officer Alex Hamzy and Officers Demonte : Connecticut State Police

“Although some details of the investigation remain to be determined, it is evident from the evidence collected so far that Officer Iurato’s use of deadly force was justified,” Inspector General Robert Devlin said in a press release.

WARNING: This video may be disturbing to some viewers

The suspect’s younger brother, Nathan Brutcher, 32, was also wounded and taken to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. It remains unknown who shot the younger Brutcher, how he was involved in the ambush and his condition.

According to Devlin, the three officers responded to the Redstone Hill Road home at 10:42 p.m. after police dispatchers received a 911 call now-believed to have been made by Nicholas Brutcher.

Devlin said evidence gathered during the early stages of the investigation shows the officers went to the side door of the house and spoke to Nathan Brutcher before ordering him to show his hands and step out of the house.

“As Nathan Brutcher stepped out, gunfire erupted,” Devlin said. ” Nicholas Brutcher fired well over 80 rounds attacking the officers from behind, fatally shooting both Sgt. DeMonte and Officer Hamzy, and wounding Officer Iurato.”

Autopsies revealed that DeMonte and Hamzy were each killed by gunshot wounds to the head and torso, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Friday, ruling their deaths as homicides.

The body-worn footage shows Iurato radioing for backup shortly before Nicholas Brutcher fires a hail of bullets in a direction that is not clear. It is also unclear what weapon Brutcher used in the attack. Photos from his public Facebook page show him posing with several firearms, including handguns and various long guns.

“Shots fired, shots fired,” Iurato said, according to the recording. “More cars, send everyone”

The footage shows Iurato, who can be heard struggling with the pain of his gunshot wound as a person screams in the background, retreating behind a Bristol Police Department cruiser for cover. The officer can then be seen calmly raising his handgun before firing a single shot, killing Nicholas Brutcher.

Nick Brutcher : Facebook

“One down, suspect down,” Iurato said.

Devlin said his office is withholding footage captured by DeMonte and Hamzy after determining releasing the recordings would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy, noting the officers are homicide victims. He also said the initial and later portions of Iurato’s body-worn camera footage will not be released for the same reason.

The motive for the attack remains unknown. Neither of the Brutcher brothers have pending criminal cases or prior convictions listed on the state judicial website.

However, sources have told Hearst Connecticut Media that Nicholas Brutcher had an interaction with police at nearby Bleachers bar before the shooting occurred Wednesday night. The circumstances of the interaction were not immediately known.

Alec Lurato : Connecticut State Police

The release of the edited footage comes as Bristol officials prepare to hold a public funeral for DeMonte and Hamzy. The services are scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano called on residents to support officers as they confront the loss of two of their colleagues by thanking them for their service and by being a good citizens.

“Lets drive slowly today, let’s make sure that there’s no speeding incidents in Bristol,” he said. “We can support our officers. I know that Bristol is strong, I know that Bristol can do this and I am asking you to support our [police department] to the fullest extent possible.”


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