BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) – A Plainville woman was arrested Thursday night after allegedly opening fire inside the Bristol Police Department.
Bristol police said 51-year-old Suzanne Laprise entered the lobby of the department, located at 131 North Main St., around 10:35 p.m. and fired multiple rounds into the front lobby desk office window. The office was unoccupied, and the rounds did not penetrate the bullet-resistant glass.
Officers inside the building responded to the shots and attempted to negotiate with Laprise, who allegedly fired additional rounds at the officers. Police said this prompted one officer to return fire.
Those shots were also stopped by bullet-resistant glass in the lobby.
Police said Laprise then put the gun down, and officers used an electronic control device and took her into custody. No one was injured.
Laprise was evaluated at a hospital, released early Friday morning, and taken into police custody.
“BPD wants to recognize the heroic actions of our officers last night,” a post read on Bristol Police Department’s X, formerly known as Twitter. “Despite a truly life-threatening incident, they responded with calm, poise, and professionalism, resulting in no loss of life or serious injury to anyone.”
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.
“These charges are very alarming,” the bail commissioner said at New Britain Superior Court. “My understanding that has been reported is that this may have been a suicide attempt.”
News 8 has obtained documents from the court, which shed light on the hours before Laprise went to the police department. The documents reveal she was at a bar in Bristol earlier in the night, where she expressed concerns to a fellow patron about life, stating she was struggling with her mental health.
According to the documents, the suspect told this patron, “I’m going to go to the Bristol Police Department and tell them to kill me, or I’ll shoot them.”
“She [Laprise] indicated to me that she has no mental health diagnosis, but she admittedly does concede that she does probably suffer from mental illness,” Laprise’s public defender said.
The judge set bond at $1 million. Her case was continued to Oct. 17.
This incident comes nearly one year after two Bristol police officers were killed in an ambush. Sgt. Alex Hamzy and Lt. Dustin DeMonte were killed in the Oct. 12, 2022, attack. Investigators said Officer Alec Iurato, also wounded, shot the suspected killer.
According to Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano, Iurato recently returned to work and is in the training division.
News 8’s Bob Wilson spoke with Bristol residents who are in disbelief about what happened Thursday night. Hear their reaction in the video below.