BRISTOL, Conn — One month after the tragic slaying of two Bristol police officers, the community continues to come together, turning the city blue in honor of their memory.
Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano said on his Facebook page that he hopes the city will turn blue on Saturday with homeowners using blue lightbulbs.
"I'm hoping we can get to that 80% level," Caggiano said in a video message. "[...] Let's make sure the [city] of Bristol is brightly lit blue for November 12."
Residents have already begun showing their support in blue. The Bristol Police Department posted on their Facebook page an aerial image from the sky at night, showing the sea of blue lights below.
"I knew Hamzy he was a great guy he helped my son rather than arrest him," said Kevin Melecio of Bristol, in front of his blue lights.
"I keep them on 24/7," said Lucy Casey of Bristol of the blue lights on her home. "So just to have people aware."
One of the places people stop every day looking to purchase lights is City True Value Hardware and Rental.
"I'm here for a blue light bulb and they don't have them though," said Linda Bianca as she walked out of the store. "They haven't had them for a month. I know I've been looking for one."
Many turn to simply purchasing the lights online, like Lucy and Shaun Casey.
"Just how much does a lightbulb cost," queried Lucy Casey. "It's not much just to say that you are you feel some loss along with the families."
"They protect us," said Joe Englert, the owner of City True Value Hardware & Rental. "They take care of our town. We are a small town but highly populated but without them or crime levels would be a lot higher."
They sell many products whose proceeds go to the Bristol Police Department and some simply offer their services, including engraving on a monument to the left of the memorial in front of the police station.
"It's so sad it was actually emotional when I was doing it," said Shaun Casey of the engraving.
And the couple said they're in the process of also seeking permission to add the names of several other officers that have been killed in the line of duty to the stone.
Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Ofc. Alex Hamzy (who were later posthumously promoted to sergeant and lieutenant respectively) along with Ofc. Alec Iurato were the responding officers to a 911 call at a Bristol home that night of Oct. 12.
The call was for a domestic disturbance at a home on Redstone Hill Road and DeMonte, Iurato, and Hamzy arrived around 10:45 p.m. As they interacted with one of the suspects, a man named Nathan Brutcher, his brother Nicholas reportedly then began firing at the officers, according to officials.
Iurato managed to get away, although injured, and fired a shot in Nathan Brutcher's direction as he was shooting, killing him at the scene.
One of the fallen officers was pronounced dead at the scene while the other died at the hospital. Iurato is recovering from his injuries.
The tribute by the Bristol community comes after a month of fundraising efforts for the families of DeMonte, who was expecting his second child with his wife, and Hamzy.
A “Bristol Police Heroes Fund” was set up at Thomaston Savings Bank. Caggiano said donations are being accepted at all branches.
An online portal for donations is also available here through the Liberty Baptist Church. All online donations will be directed to the Bristol Police Union for the Bristol Police Heroes Fund.
Donations can also be made here through Fund the First, organized by the Bristol PBA.
Bristol firefighters and Connecticut State Police have set up an official shirt fundraiser to raise money for the families. Limited shirts are available. Learn more here.
Hamzy's family set up the Officer Alex Hamzy Memorial Fund through Main Street Community Foundation. There, money donated will be rewarded as grants to community organizations determined by the family.
Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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