BRISTOL, Conn. — It's been one month since Bristol Police Officers Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy were shot and killed while responding to a call on October 12th.
Officer Alec Iurato shot and killed the suspect after being shot himself. Mayor Jeff Caggiano said the officer is recovering well but has not returned to the force yet.
Dozens of people gathered outside the police department Saturday to honor and reflect on their deaths. Mayor Caggiano said there have been good days and bad days, but feels like they're getting back to normal.
"I know that our police officers, in general, are really getting back to that sense of normalcy and that’s the best thing for them," he said. "I think generally people were very proud to see what they saw here in Bristol, how the community could come together, and how we could coalesce around something."
People brought blue lights to show support for the police department. The city encouraged people to put blue lights up at their homes to illuminate the sky.
"It’s been a tough month for our community but we’re getting through it," Tina Murphy said. "I did work with Officer Dustin, he was a resource officer, and so it hits home."
Flowers, signs, pictures, drawings, and more surround the police department and its windows. The memorial outside the police department has brought hundreds of people to it to reflect on the tragedy and pay their respects for the officers.
"A month later, it seems as real as it did right on the evening when we all went to the first vigil," Senator Richard Blumenthal said. "I have an emotional bond. I was in law enforcement for a good part of my career. I felt a real sense of allegiance to this community."
The senator said more needs to be done to protect those sworn to protect the community.
"I’m proud of this community and our state for showing the faith in allegiance support that they have done, but I also know that Connecticut supports law enforcement. We want to give them the tools they need to make a safer, but also make themselves safer," he said.
The mayor said the support from the community since the tragedy shows their hearts are in the right place. Community members said they hope the togetherness that has come from this continues and that it doesn't take another tragedy to unite.
"It says Bristol strong. We are a community that supports each other," Ptak said. "The month is long, but yet it’s short. The strength the city has, and the community has is endless."
A joint funeral service was held for the officers at Rentschler Field in East Hartford a week after the shooting. It brought officers from across the state and beyond to pay their respects to Lt. DeMonte and Sgt. Hamzy, both posthumously promoted.
Body camera footage released showed the moments after the initial shooting when Officer Iurato shot and killed the suspect, Nicholas Brutcher. Police believe the incident was an ambush on law enforcement.
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