BRISTOL, Conn. — In agony due to a gunshot wound from an ambush that had just killed two comrades, a Connecticut police officer’s bodycam shows him hobbling back behind a police cruiser and firing a single bullet at the suspect. Investigators say the shot was fatal.
“Shots fired, shots fired, more cars, send everyone,” a breathless Officer Alec Lurato said, according to a segment of body camera footage released Sunday. It’s part of a preliminary report by the state’s Office of the Inspector General in connection with Wednesday’s shooting in the town of Bristol.
The inspector general’s office said Lurato, Sgt. Dustin DeMonte and Officer Alex Hamzy went to the house shortly before 11 p.m. in response to a 911 call. Authorities say the call was made by Nicholas Brutcher, 35.
They spoke to Brutcher’s brother, Nathan, at a side door, and told him to step out of the house. As he did, authorities say Brutcher opened fire on the officers from behind, shooting more than 80 rounds.
DeMonte and Hamzy died of multiple gunshots to their heads and torsos, and Lurato was wounded in the leg.
In Lurato’s body camera footage, he can be heard breathing heavily and exclaiming in pain as he makes his way around the house.
Anguished screams echo through the residential street, at one point apparently saying “He’s dead!” It was not clear who was screaming.
As Lurato reaches the police cruiser, a hail of at least two dozen gunshots rings out.
The footage shows Lurato – his face reflected in the cruiser’s window – as he braces his service weapon on the vehicle, takes aim and fires once. Someone yells “He’s down,” before Lurato radios in that the suspect is down.
Brutcher died from a gunshot wound to the neck with spinal cord injuries, authorities said. His brother was also wounded that night.
The inspector general said the evidence so far showed Lurato’s shooting was justified.
Lurato, 26, a four-year member of the department, was released from the hospital on Thursday.
Authorities are still investigating, and have not disclosed the circumstances that led to the 911 call or Brutcher opening fire, although they said earlier that it looked like the officers were lured to the scene with the emergency call. The two slain officers’ body camera footage has not been released, and the segment from Lurato’s camera does not show the ambush.
Demonte, 35, was a 10-year veteran officer. Hamzy, 34, had worked for the department for eight years. Their funerals are expected to be held in the coming week.
Bristol, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of the state capital of Hartford, is home to about 60,000 people and to the sports network ESPN.
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