TERRYVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — Calling hours were held on Wednesday for Hamzy, and hundreds of people traveled from near and far to pay their respects to the late 34-year-old in Terryville.
“So many families are affected,” said Crystal Riedel of Farmington. “Now we have widows and children without fathers and parents without sons. It’s just horrific.”
“I feel that it’s such a difficult thing for them to go day to day right now, so I think it’s important to show our support,” Bristol resident Joe Ronan said.
Hamzy’s wake started at noon and ended at 8 p.m. at the Lyceum Banquet Hall. Attendees were asked to park at the Terryville Fairgrounds on Town Hill Road. From there, people were shuttled to and from the banquet hall.
Route 6 closed from North Main Street to Route 72 in Bristol. State police said the road closure would not impact school bus operations or parent pick-up. Businesses in the area were only accessible by foot traffic, and people attending the wake are asked not to park on local roads.
Hamzy’s family created the Officer Alex Hamzy Memorial Fund in his honor. Grants from this fund will be awarded to organizations at the recommendation of his family.
He leaves behind his wife, parents, sisters, and extended family. Read his obituary here.
Hamzy and DeMonte were fatally shot on Oct. 12, while responding to a 911 call about a possible domestic violence situation between two brothers.
Officer Alec Iurato, 26, was wounded in the shooting.
The Bristol Police Department announced on Wednesday that it posthumously promoted DeMonte and Hamzy. DeMonte, a 10-year veteran of the department, was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant, and Hamzy, an 8-year veteran of the department, was promoted from officer to sergeant, respectively.
A private wake for DeMonte will be held in North Haven. The wake will be held on Thursday at the North Haven Funeral Home.
On Friday, a joint funeral will be held for DeMonte and Hamzy at Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Learn more about the funeral service here.
Some businesses on Main Street were closed Wednesday out of respect for the family, and so that they can spend the day reflecting on this heartbreaking loss.
“Every time there’s mentions of their names, there’s a cold feeling inside,” said Astrit Hadari, owner of the Eagle’s Nest. “We can sleep at night because of the officers, thanks to them. I wish there were ways to keep them safe. They keep us safe.”
Blue ribbons and lights now decorate light poles down Main Street in a show of support. A sign for Eagle’s Neat reads: “Our hearts are with you officers Hamzy and DeMonte.”
Neighbors are also taking this time to thank their police officers.
Elysha Wesolowski and her friends are selling custom-made key chains with the words “back the blue.” They’re giving the proceeds to the families of the three Bristol police officers.
“It’s showing support for the officers who go to work every day and sacrifice their lives,” Wesolowski said. “A lot of people who aren’t police wouldn’t do something like that.”