BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) – The Connecticut Office of Inspector General released surveillance and body cam video that shows Bristol police officers responding to a woman who opened fire inside the lobby of the police station.
Bristol police said 51-year-old Suzanne Laprise of Plainville entered the lobby of the department, located at 131 North Main St., around 10:35 p.m. on Oct. 5. The video released Tuesday shows the Laprize go up to the windows of the front desk and bang on them with a gun. She fired multiple rounds at the windows, but those bullets did not penetrate the bullet-resistant glass.
The lobby and front desk were unoccupied at the time.
As officers tried to negotiate with Laprise, investigators said she fired additional rounds at the responding officers, prompting Bristol police Officer Spencer Boisvert to fire two shots, which were stopped by the glass.
WARNING: Some viewers may find this video disturbing. Discretion is advised.
The video shows Laprise putting the gun down. Once she did that, investigators said officers used an electronic control device before taking her into custody without serious injury.
“Their workplace, just like in their homes, you think you’re the safest there, so certainly, you’re vulnerable at this point. You’re not expecting anyone to walk in and start shooting up the place like that,” Bristol police Chief Brian Gould told News 8. “You see this video of these officers under extreme circumstances acting with true professionalism, no regard for their own life.”
Laprise was arraigned Friday afternoon on nine charges: criminal attempt/murder with special circumstances, illegal discharge of a firearm, illegal carry of firearms under the influence of drugs/alcohol, criminal use of a weapon, violation of pistol permit requirements, illegal possession of a large capacity magazine, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and breach of peace.
We learned during her arraignment that this may have been a suicide attempt. Documents obtained by News 8 revealed Laprise was at a bar in Bristol earlier in the night, where she expressed concerns to a fellow patron about her life, stating she was struggling with her mental health.
“They saved a life that night,” Gould said. “No mistake about it.”
The shots fired incident happened one week before a difficult day in Bristol. Thursday, Oct. 12, marks one year since Bristol Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy were ambushed and killed in the line of duty.
“The horrible, tragic events of Oct. 12… that kind of stuff must have been on their mind,” Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano said. “Yet, they still went ahead and did their job, and they did it admirably.”
Laprise is being held on a $1 million bond and is due back in court on Oct. 17.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 8 for updates.