Two police officers were fatally shot, and one was severely injured late Wednesday night in Bristol, Connecticut, about a half mile away from ESPN headquarters.
The three Bristol police officers were reportedly investigating a possible domestic dispute between two siblings. Upon arrival at the suburban home, the officers were met by a man with a semi-automatic weapon. According to officials, Sgt. Dustin DeMonte, 35, and officer Alex Hamzy, 34, were killed in the shooting. Officer Alec Iurato, 26, suffered a severe gunshot wound and required surgery.
With the incident occurring less than one mile from ESPN’s Bristol campus, the network honored the fallen police officers both on-air and off. During ESPN’s 6pm edition of SportsCenter Thursday evening, anchors Kevin Negandhi and Elle Duncan offered a tribute for the late police officers while sharing appreciation for local law enforcement.
“We at ESPN, greatly appreciate the protection our local law enforcement regularly provides us,” Duncan said. “And we just wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to Sgt. Dustin DeMonte and officer Alex Hamzy. We offer our deepest sympathy to their families and the entire Bristol community as it grieves this profound loss.”
Later Thursday night, Scott Van Pelt echoed the sentiment shared by Negandhi and Duncan, using his 11pm edition of SportsCenter to offer a similar tribute for the deceased Bristol police officers.
Beyond on-air tributes, ESPN also lit its campus blue Thursday night as a way of honoring the fallen Bristol police officers. And ESPN PR put out a statement:
“ESPN extends its deepest sympathy to the families of the three Bristol Police officers and our entire local law enforcement community. We stand with them, and everyone in the Bristol community, at this tragic time.”
— Michael Heimbach, ESPN VP, Global Security & Facilities Ops
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) October 13, 2022
And on Friday, they created a front-lawn tribute:
ESPN created a tribute to the fallen Bristol Police officers on our front lawn. Both officer Alex Hamzy and Sgt. Dustin Demonte had visited our campus in their line of duty and we remember them in this special way. pic.twitter.com/QXuXhnz7dd
— Mike Soltys (@espnmikes) October 14, 2022
In recent years, ESPN has shown a propensity to shift its focus away from sports when warranted, highlighting matters that are deemed more important to society. Two slain police officers right outside ESPN’s main headquarters was impossible to ignore.