For the first time in nearly three months, a physically recovered Alec Iurato emerged at the National Firearms Summit in Washington D.C. to receive a prestigious award for his bravery in an ambush attack.
In October, Iurato was injured in a shooting that killed two Bristol police officers, Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy.
He's credited for killing the suspect with a single gunshot.
"It’s a great honor, it's not where we would like to be, but we believe that because of what happened everyone needs to understand what officers are going through throughout the nation, and anyway that we can help we’re going to continue to do that," Iurato said.
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The firearm survival summit highlights moments of bravery in the line of duty.
The full-day event features law enforcement and firearms experts and leadership, as well as statistical data on mid and end-of-year officer fatality reports.
"This is an incident that is unfortunately growing. 64 ambush-style deaths in the country, and you would never think this would happen in your own community, and Bristol is one of those communities when I came on as mayor I would have never expected this to happen," Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano said.
Experts say you can never be 100% prepared for unthinkable situations like the one these Bristol officers endured, but you can stay up-to-date on training.
"I think it's training with proper equipment, training how to handle incidents and really, really important, it's officer wellness training, that’s going to project you through a crisis," Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould said.
"We’re truly grateful for his actions that night, our community is grateful for his actions that night. There's so much more damage that would’ve been done," he continued.
Along with the award, Iurato was gifted a flag that once was waving above the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
He will be honored again at a ceremony later this year with all of the Officers of the Year in the nation’s capital.