Gunman Opens Fire On Fire Crews In Webster, New York

December 25, 2012 by  

Gunman Opens Fire On Fire Crews In Webster, New York, William Spengler set fire to the house and then shot at the firefighters who responded, killing two. A cold-blooded sniper ignited a raging house fire near Rochester on Monday and then shot at first responders who showed up to battle the blaze, killing two volunteer firefighters before fatally shooting himself.

The fire started at 5:30 a.m. and quickly spread to seven homes along Lake Ontario.

Firefighters unwittingly stumbled into the deadly ambush set by William Spengler, 62, an ex-con who beat his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer in 1980, said Gerald Pickering, the police chief in the suburban town of Webster.

Spengler unleashed the hail of bullets with a rifle, taking cover behind a nearby berm, as if he were a military sniper. Two firefighters died in the “kill zone” that Spengler created, and two firefighters and a cop were wounded.

“It appears it was a trap,” said Pickering, fighting back tears during an emotional news conference. “People get up in the middle of the night to fight fires. They don’t expect to get shot and killed.”

A 911 call from one of the wounded men hinted at the horrifying scene that turned the suburban lakeside neighborhood into a war zone.

“We have two DOAs in the street – I made it two doors down. I need immediate EMS,” the caller said. “I’m in the danger zone right now.”

The slain firefighters were identified as Tomasz Kaczowka, a 911 dispatcher who was just 19, and Lt. Michael Chiapperini, a 43-year-old volunteer smoke-eater who was also an officer with the Webster Police Department. Both died at the scene.

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