Two police officers who were shot and killed in Connecticut appeared to be lured into an ambush by an emergency call about alleged domestic violence, authorities said Thursday.
State police said in a news release that the emergency call on Wednesday night about a dispute between two brothers appears to have been “a deliberate act to lure law enforcement officers to the scene” in Bristol.
The dead officers are Sergeant Dustin Demonte, 35, and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, police said. He added that officer Alex Iurato, 26, was recovering. The incident occurred in a particularly deadly week for law enforcement officers across the country.
Police said 35-year-old gunman Nicholas Brutcher was also killed and his brother Nathan Brutcher, 32, was wounded and hospitalized.
Authorities say they are still working to answer many questions about the confrontation. No video of the incident has emerged.
Several witnesses said they heard three series of shots, about 30 in all.
“I heard a whole war behind me,” said Danny Rodriguez, who says he was outside his house across the street when gunshots erupted. It was so intense that he could smell gunpowder in the air.
“It was so loud and crazy,” said Rodriguez, who remembers a woman yelling, “You killed them!
Officers were responding to a domestic violence incident at 10:30 pm when they found a man outside the home, state police Sgt. Christine Jeltema said.
“There were shots, which fatally wounded an officer at the scene,” he added.
A second police officer died in hospital and the third underwent surgery.
Authorities did not say who fired the fatal shots. Jeltema indicated that the investigation was in its preliminary phase.
Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould said: “I have no words to express the sadness and grief that I bring to you this morning… Sadly, we have lost two exceptional Bristol police officers and a third was severely injured as a result of senseless violence.”
The officers were shot in an exceptionally violent week for police officers in the United States. On Tuesday in Mississippi, Detective Myiesha Stewart was killed and several other people were shot when she and other police officers responded to a call, authorities said.
Early Wednesday morning, three Philadelphia police officers were shot and a suspect was killed as a SWAT unit tried to arrest the individual, who was wanted on a murder charge. And in Decatur, Illinois, two police officers at a traffic stop were shot Wednesday by a motorist who was killed when officers responded, police said.
Associated Press writer Karen Matthews contributed to this report from New York.