BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — First responders are traveling from across the country to pay their respects at Friday’s joint funeral for two Bristol officers who were killed in the line of duty.
“There is going to be a lot of guys coming down, you know, fire department, and police department, and other places you know, even the nurses are coming down,” Alfredo Santiago, a firefighter, said. “I have been on the job 40 years at the fire department, and these guys are so young, they just started and to lose your life like that is so sad when you’re just trying to help somebody.”
Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy were shot and killed during an ambush while they were responding to a 911 call. A third policeman, Officer Alec Iurato, was injured.
Up to 50,000 people are expected to attend their Friday funeral at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Support continues to pour in from the community, groups have jumped in to volunteer with efforts and Bristol schools will be closed to observe the ceremony.
Many people plan to take the day off work to attend.
“I heard they are streaming it at the library,” said Samantha Chapman, who has a son at a school DeMonte was a school resource officer at. “If I’m not there in East Hartford, I will definitely be at the library.”
At the police department, a cruiser is completely covered in flowers, and the building’s windows are covered with messages, prayers and thank you notes.
Even those who did not know the officers have been stopping by to show their respects.
“Just because I didn’t know them personally, I’m still gonna show my support,” Chris Gaudio, who lives in Bristol, said. “I’ve been coming down every day, and I’ll be coming down every day until they get rid of this car.”
The officers’ names were engraved Thursday on the Law Enforcement Memorial at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden. The decision to add them was unanimous, according to a statement from the Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation. A formal ceremony will be held in May.
DeMonte and Hamzy’s names have been submitted to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial for consideration, as well.