Cops Say She Came In Firing. Bulletproof Glass Saved Them

Woman allegedly started firing away inside police station in Bristol, Connecticut
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 7, 2023 9:00 AM CDT
Bulletproof Glass Saves Cops in Police Station Shooting
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/TNTbomb_dot_com)

A woman fired several gunshots in the lobby of a Connecticut police station, but bulletproof glass prevented anyone from being injured, authorities said Friday as they charged her with attempted murder and other crimes. The shooting happened at the Bristol Police Department just after 10:30pm local time on Thursday, per the AP. The woman, Suzanne Laprise, 51, of nearby Plainville, repeatedly said "kill me" as she was being handcuffed following the incident, according to a police report obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media Group. She was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and armed with an illegal high-capacity magazine when she fired several shots at the window of the front desk, which was unoccupied at the time, police said in a news release. None of the shots penetrated the bullet-resistant glass, officials said.

Officers tried to negotiate with Laprise, but she fired more shots toward them, the statement said. One officer shot back at her. She put her gun down and officers used a stun gun to subdue her. She was arrested and taken to a hospital for evaluation. Authorities didn't provide details on what kind of firearm was used in the shooting. Citing the police report, HCMG said a witness told police Laprise had been at a Bristol sports bar less than two hours before the shooting. The witness quoted Laprise as saying, "I am going to the Bristol Police Department and tell them to kill me or I will shoot them." The witness told police they suggested to Laprise that she get mental health treatment and in the meantime to go home and get some sleep. Laprise agreed, but the witness saw her drive away toward the police department instead, the report said.

Bristol police said that officers' actions were heroic. "Despite a truly life-threatening incident, they responded with calm, poise, and professionalism, resulting in no loss of life or serious injury to anyone," police said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter. The shooting came nearly a year after the community was unnerved by the shooting deaths of two Bristol police officers who were ambushed outside a home in another part of town. It also came four days after new state gun-control laws—the most sweeping restrictions since others were passed after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown—took effect, including tougher penalties for possessing high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

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Laprise was released from the hospital into police custody Friday morning and appeared in state court in New Britain, where a judge lowered the $3 million bond set by police to $1 million. She remained detained and is scheduled to return to court Oct. 17. In court, a rep from the public defender's office described Laprise as a mother of three adult children who's never been in trouble with the law before and volunteers at church. She worked for a state agency that helps developmentally disabled people for more than two decades and has a son with Down syndrome, said David Napierkowski, an intern in the public defender's office. State officials said Laprise retired in 2020. Laprise was charged with attempted murder and several gun crimes, including illegal possession of a high-capacity magazine. She also was charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and breach of peace.

(More shooting stories.)

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