EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut — Thousands of police officers from across the country gathered at a Connecticut stadium on Friday for the joint funeral of two police officers who were shot in an apparent ambush.
Service for Bristol officers Dustin DeMonte and Alex Hamzy was held at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field – the University of Connecticut’s 40,000 seat home stadium in East Hartford.
DeMonte, Hamzy and officer Alec Iurato were shot Oct. 12 in what police believe was an ambush by a 911 call made by the shooter, Nicholas Brutcher. Iurato, who survived a gunshot wound to the leg, struggled to get behind a police cruiser and fired a single shot that killed Brutcher. Brutcher’s brother Nathan was also shot and survived.
At the time of the shooting, DeMonte was a sergeant with 10 years experience in the force and Hamzy had been an officer for eight years. They were posthumously promoted to lieutenant and sergeant, respectively.
Mourners flocked to the stadium hours before the service. sergeant. Greg Dube of the New Hampshire State Police said it was important to show support in large numbers after such a tragedy.
“We’re all family,” he said. “We definitely feel their pain. The best way to show our respect is to be many. »
“I may not have met them, but I understand it could easily have happened to me or my colleagues. You just can’t take any day for granted,” Dube said.
Lt. Ernie Lucero of the Thornton, Colorado Police Department said going to the funeral was his first time in Connecticut.
“It’s important to show that this brotherhood of law enforcement is here and will be here all the time, no matter where we come from,” he said. “Law enforcement as a whole, we are here together, even in these horrific times of desperation.”
Parts of major highways in the Hartford and New Haven areas were closed as motorcades including dozens of police motorcycles escorted the bodies of the two officers from funeral homes to the stadium.
Photos of the two officers and their families played on stadium screens ahead of the service.
Authorities have not released the motive for the shooting. A preliminary report says Nicholas Brutcher fired more than 80 rounds as he attacked the officers from behind. The state inspector general also said in the report that it was evident that Iurato’s lethal use of force against Nicholas Brutcher was justified.
Roll call hours for Hamzy on Wednesday drew hundreds of people, while a private vigil for DeMonte was held on Thursday.