The Connecticut man who shot three police officers responding to a domestic call, killing two of them, was a hard-drinking, gun-loving “teddy bear,” neighbors say.
Investigators think Nicholas Brutcher, 35, likely lured the officers to his home with a fake call Wednesday night because he opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle when they arrived, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Sgt. Dustin Demonte, 35, and Officer Alex Hamzy, 34, were killed at the scene, while a third officer, Alec Iurato, 26, was wounded, underwent surgery, and was released from the hospital on Thursday.
Brutcher was shot and killed in the incident, and his brother Nathaniel was wounded, although it isn’t yet clear if Nathaniel Brutcher was shot by police or his brother.
Investigators say Nicholas Brutcher was kicked out of a bar Wednesday night, went home, and got into a fight with his brother. He called 911 at 10:29 p.m., then waited in the front yard for police to arrive, WVIT reported.
“Nick was the big, rowdy one,” a neighbor of Brutcher’s brother Nathaniel, told the New York Post.
“He was the big, funny one, a big teddy bear. He was huge. Big guy, but sweet as pie.
“The family must be traumatized,” she added.
Nicholas Brutcher is seen in multiple Facebook photos brandishing weapons, including a photo from his wedding that shows all of the men in the wedding party with a gun. Brutcher is pointing a handgun at the photographer in the photo.
A neighbor Nathaniel’s, who called him a “skater-punk” and a “man-child” who lived in a trashy trailer with empty beer cans tossed everywhere, said he didn’t know much about Nicholas, “except he drinks a lot.”
“The dude’s always drinking,” he said.
“Their mother must be a wreck right now,” he added. “She’s also crazier than a f**king bag of chips.”
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[Featured image: Nicholas Brutcher, left, and Nicholas Brutcher and Nathaniel Brutcher/Facebook]