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Bodycam video shows abrupt end of chaotic Connecticut siege

A shooter fired more than 80 rounds, killing two officers and injuring another, who was able to hobble to cover and fire, authorities say the video shows.
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Editor’s Note: This article includes descriptions of police body camera video that might be upsetting to some. 

The officer who survived a purported 80-round ambush on police in Connecticut may have ended it single-handedly with one shot that felled the alleged gunman, new video indicated Sunday.

The state inspector general's office released the bodycam video of Officer Alec Iurato on Sunday as part of its investigation of the shootout Wednesday night, which left three people — two officers and a suspect — dead in Bristol, about 20 miles southwest of Hartford.

During the firefight, Iurato, who was struck and seriously injured, hobbled toward a pair of police SUVs to take cover as rounds rocketed ominously and a woman's screams filled the air, the video indicated.

The inspector general's office, under the leadership of Robert J. Devlin Jr., is among the agencies investigating the officer's use of force. As it released the dramatic and potentially disturbing video Saturday, the watchdog stopped just short of calling Iurato a hero.

"Despite sustaining a gunshot wound to his leg, Officer Iurato was able to make his way around the house and back to a Bristol Police Department cruiser," the office said in a statement.

"From that vantage point, he fired one shot striking and killing Nicholas Brutcher," the statement continued.

Shooting in Bristol, Conn.
Police investigate the scene Thursday where two officers were killed the night before in Bristol, Conn. A segment of footage from a police body camera worn by Officer Alec Iurato was released Sunday as part of a preliminary report by the state's Office of the Inspector General in connection with the shooting.Jessica Hill / AP/File

The video includes the sound and rhythm of Iurato's limp as he moves from being a virtual sitting duck to finding protection behind the panels of a Ford Police Interceptor Utility, vehicles often equipped with ballistic-resistant front door panels.

The gunman fired more than 80 rounds, the inspector general's office said. Law enforcement sources told NBC New York the weapon was a semiautomatic rifle similar to an AR-15.

Iurato, 26, lowers his body, leans against a closed driver's door, looks ahead and raises his gun with two hands toward the top of the SUV's windshield, the video shows. A pop rings out.

"One down," Iurato says over his radio as he limps to the target, briefly illuminating the gunman with the tactical flashlight attached to his service weapon. "Suspect down."

Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, an eight-year veteran, was declared dead at the scene, Bristol police said in a statement. Sgt. Dustin DeMonte, 35, died at Bristol Hospital, it said.

The state medical examiner said Hamzy's cause of death was gunshot wounds to the head and the torso; DeMonte, who had been on the Bristol force for 10 years, was felled by wounds to his head, his torso and an extremity.

Both deaths were deemed to be homicides.

Iurato was released Thursday from St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. Police Chief Brian Gould said he underwent surgery.

The inspector general's office said Sunday that it appears the officer's use of force was justified.

Authorities identified the suspect as Nicholas Brutcher, 35. Nathan Brutcher, 32, his brother, was injured and hospitalized in unknown condition, police said. The cause of his injury was not available.

Law enforcement sources told NBC New York that Nicholas Brutcher had been kicked out of a bar and cited by police for being disorderly before he went home, grabbed the AR-15-style rifle and made a false call about a disturbance to lure officers to the location.

Authorities said violence erupted when police responded to at least one call of possible domestic violence involving the brothers at about 10:30 p.m.

"Preliminary information appears to point to the 911 call being a deliberate act to lure law enforcement to the scene," Connecticut State Police said in a statement Wednesday.

Gov. Ned Lamont said at a news conference Thursday that the tragic events show the sacrifices that come with a career in front-line law enforcement.

"It's just a reminder what the men and women in blue do every day on our behalf to keep us safe," he said.

The Bristol Police Union did not immediately respond to a request for its response to the bodycam video.

A combined service for DeMonte and Hamzy, open to the public, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at Rentschler Field at the University of Connecticut's Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford.