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The Connecticut police officer’s funeral drew thousands to the stadium for a heartbreaking ceremony

The Connecticut police officer’s funeral drew thousands to the stadium for a heartbreaking ceremony

Thousands police officers from across the country gathered at a football stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut, on Friday to honor the lives of two police officers killed in an ambush last week.

A service for Bristol officers Dustin DeMonte and Alex Hamzy was held at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field – University of Connecticut Stadium with 40,000 seats. Major highway closures were announced for the two policemen’s processions from funeral homes to the stadium.

A sea of ​​officers, some from as far west as Washington state, marched in step behind the casket as it was carried into the stadium.

Mourners, including many police officers from New England and beyond, filed into the stadium hours before the service.

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Two Bristol police officers embrace before a joint police funeral, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, in East Hartford, Conn.

Two Bristol police officers embrace before a joint police funeral, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, in East Hartford, Conn.
(AP Photo/David Collins)

Bristol, Connecticut police officers Dustin DeMonte and Alex Hamzy walk into the 40,000-seat University of Connecticut football stadium on Friday.  DeMonte and Hamzi were killed in an ambush last week.

Bristol, Connecticut police officers Dustin DeMonte and Alex Hamzy walk into the 40,000-seat University of Connecticut football stadium on Friday. DeMonte and Hamzi were killed in an ambush last week.
(WTIC FOX61)

LR: Bristol, Conn.  Police Department Sgt.  Dustin Demonte, Officer Alex Hamzy.

LR: Bristol, Conn. Police Department Sgt. Dustin Demonte, Officer Alex Hamzy.
(Connecticut State Police via AP)

Sgt. Greg Dube of the New Hampshire State Police said it’s 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 we can show our respect is through strength in numbers.”

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“I may not have met them, but I understand that it could have easily happened to me or my colleagues. You just can’t take any day for granted,” Dube said.

Thornton, Colorado Police Lt. Ernie Lucero said “it’s important to show that this brotherhood and sisterhood of law enforcement is there and will be there all the time, no matter where we come from.”

“We are here together, even in these terrible times of desperation, as a law enforcement unit,” he said.

Those attending the funeral heard speakers including religious leaders, Bristol Mayor Jeffrey Caggiano and Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould, who posthumously promoted DeMonte to lieutenant and Hamzy to sergeant, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd.

Police officers attended a joint funeral Friday for Bristol, Connecticut, officers Dustin DeMonte and Alex Hamzy at the University of Connecticut's 40,000-seat football stadium.  DeMonte and Hamzi were killed in an ambush last week.

Police officers attended a joint funeral Friday for Bristol, Connecticut, officers Dustin DeMonte and Alex Hamzy at the University of Connecticut’s 40,000-seat football stadium. DeMonte and Hamzi were killed in an ambush last week.
(WTIC FOX61)

Hamzy’s parents and siblings choked back tears as they read statements about his impact on their lives and on the force.

Hamzy’s father-in-law, Jeff Scott, gave a fiery speech, fueling hatred of the police.

“Alex wasn’t out there showing hate, power or prejudice – just his love for those he chose to protect. I will never let the haters ever portray him in any other way,” Scott said. “We must shine a light on the charlatans who promote hate under the guise of victimhood, as well as those who provide a platform for this evil.”

Officer Alec Iurato survived a gunshot wound to the leg.

Officer Alec Iurato survived a gunshot wound to the leg.
(Connecticut State Police via AP)

DeMonte, Hamzy and Officer Alec Iurato were recorded on October 12 in what police believe was an ambush set up by a 911 call made by killer Nicholas Brutcher. Iurato, who survived a gunshot wound to the leg, struggled to get behind the police cruiser and fired a single shot that killed Brutcher. Brutcher’s brother, Nathan, was also shot and survived.

Authorities have not released a 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 clear that Iurat’s deadly use of force against Nicholas Brutcher was justified.

At the time of the shooting, DeMonte was a sergeant with 10 years of law enforcement experience, and Hamzy had been an officer for eight years.

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Hamzy’s opening hours on Wednesday drew hundreds of people. A private wake for DeMonte was held Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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