How to help the families of fallen Bristol police officers Alex Hamzy and Dustin DeMonte
The Bristol Police Department has released details on ways the public can help the families of the two officers who were shot and killed in an ambush Wednesday night.
Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, died at the scene. Sgt. Dustin DeMonte, 35, was taken to Bristol Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Officer Alec Iurato, 26, underwent surgery for serious wounds and was released.
Iurato was struck by gunfire, returned fire and killed the suspect, Bristol police announced in a Facebook post Saturday.
Bristol police said a fundraiser via Fundthefirst.com will benefit Hamzy’s and DeMonte’s families. Organizers initially set a goal of $100,000; donations quickly poured in Saturday. Organizers on Sunday increased the goal to $150,000.
The Bristol Police Union has set up a Bristol Police Heroes Fund with Thomaston Savings Bank. To make a donation to the fund set up at Thomaston Savings Bank, visit any branch or donate online. A secure collection box is also available at the Bristol police department.
"Sergeant Dustin Demonte, Officer Alex Hamzy, Officer Alec Iurato and other First Responders had their lives change forever ... while answering the call to Protect and Serve all of us," the police union wrote on the donation page. "The Bristol Police Commissioners have partnered with the Bristol Police Union to create 'The Bristol Police Heroes Fund' which will be used to aid and assist families."
Bristol police said these two fundraisers are the only sanctioned ones for the officers’ families. They encourage people not to donate to any phone solicitations.
Mortgage paid off for DeMonte's home
Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced it will pay off the mortgage on DeMonte's home. The Tunnel to Towers Fallen First Responder Home Program "pays off mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty and leave behind young children."
Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO Frank Siller said "these cowardly acts of violence targeting our first responders have to stop."
"Instead of preparing to celebrate the birth of their third child, the Demonte family is now facing a future without their husband and father," Siller said in a statement. "Two children will grow up with only memories, while their youngest sibling was robbed of the opportunity to be held by their dad. I spoke with the family today, and assured them they will be able to stay in the home where they have made so many memories."
About the officers
DeMonte was a 10-year veteran of the Bristol Police Department and co-recipient of his department's 2019 Officer of the Year award. He had worked as a school resource officer at Greene-Hills School and West Bristol School.
Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould said DeMonte, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Central Connecticut State University, was “very focused on his career and furthering his career and education.” He and his wife were expecting their third child, Gould said.
Hamzy was an eight-year veteran of the department and had gotten many letters of commendation during his tenure on his hometown police force, the chief said. Like DeMonte, Hamzy was an adviser to a police cadet program.
“The outpouring of love, support and prayers from so many is deeply appreciated,” Hamzy's family said in a statement.
Iurato, 26, joined the Bristol department in 2018 and has a bachelor’s degree in government, law and national security.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.