So much for Michael Bloomburg’s gun-free NY

2 firefighters killed in fire set as trap in NY

Special Thanks to Lynn M Stuter

Two firefighters are dead and two others wounded in New York after being shot while battling a home fire. (Source: WHAM/CNN)ROCHESTER, NY (CNN/RNN) – The gunman who shot four firefighters, killing two, set the fire in order to ambush those responding to the blaze

“It does appear that [the fire scene] was a trap that was set,” Police Chief Gerald Pickering said  in a press conference.

Volunteer firefighters responded to a house fire in Webster, NY, early Monday morning and were ambushed as they left their vehicles. Firefighters and police arrived on the scene between 5:30 and 6 a.m.

The gunman, 62-year-old William Spengler, exchanged gunfire with a first responder for a brief time where he died of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Officials said in a news conference that Spengler has a lengthy criminal history.

“In 1980, he was  arrested by the Webster police and charged with killing his  grandmother. He was convicted in 1981. He served time in the New York state  prison system until 1998 and was on supervised parole until 2006,” Pickering said. “I  don’t believe that we’ve had any contact with him criminally in recent  past.”

Pickering also acknowledged Spengler was not allowed to own weapons because he was a convicted felon.

“We don’t know where the weapons came from, but we will most  certainly find out,” he said.

Firefighters were unable to put out the blaze until police were able to secure the scene.

Tomas Kaczowka and Mike Chiapperini were killed at the scene. Kaczowka also was a 911 dispatcher and Chiapperini also was a member of the Webster Police Department, according to WHAM.

The two wounded firefighters, Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofsetter, are in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. Doctors tell WHAM that Scardino was shot in the shoulder and in the knee, and Hofsetter was shot in the pelvis.

An off-duty police officer also sustained  injuries from shrapnel.

Four homes are a complete loss as a result of the fire, and four others sustained damage. Fire officials and authorities are continuing to investigate the scene.

“We have yet to get inside any of the homes, we’re not sure if we’ll find any additional victims,” Pickering said.

The neighborhood contains year-round and seasonal homes near the Lake Ontario shoreline.

“You know we have so many citizens who have been burned out of their homes, they’re displaced.  The Red Cross has stepped up to the plate and you know I’m personally getting calls from all across the nation.  It’s just incredible the outpouring for our first responders. We have a great community, police, fire, ems.  I mean we work together so well in this county.  This is a tragedy felt by all of us, deeply,” Pickering said.

This is not the first time this neighborhood has seen tragedy. For the second December in a row this area is now a scene of violence.

On Dec. 7, 2011, a 15-year-old boy poured gasoline on his home and set it on fire, killing his father and his two brothers. His mother and 13-year-old sister escaped but were injured, according to the Associated Press.

 

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