Sunday, September 21, 2014

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Man who allegedly shot firefighters identified

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Rochester: Man who allegedly shot firefighters identified
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Local, county and state officials briefed the media about the fatal shooting at the scene of a house fire on Lake Road in Webster. Seth Voorhees has more.

WEBSTER, N.Y. -- YNN has learned the name of the man believed to have killed two firefighters and injured two others on Lake Road in Webster Monday morning.

Police believe William Spengler, 62, intentionally started a fire that led to an ambush on first responders.

Firefighters Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka tragically lost their lives. Firefighters Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter were also shot and are recovering at Strong Memorial Hospital. An off-duty Greece police officer, John Ritter, was also hurt by shrapnel.

Police say Spengler was convicted in 1981 for beating his grandmother to death with a hammer and was released from prison in 1998. They're trying to determine how he had weapons in his possession.

"Spengler was a convicted felon. He's not allowed to possess weapons. Did he legally possess those weapons? No," said Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering.

The fire destroyed seven homes in total. 33 people were evacuated. No word yet if any of those neighbors were hurt.

Scanner audio

We don't often have the chance to share audio from police or fire scanners. In this next clip posted by Monroe County Fire Wire, a firefighter who was shot describes the scene to dispatchers.


Rochester: Man who allegedly shot firefighters identified
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Webster Police Chief, Gerald Pickering, and other local officials hold updated media briefing:


Rochester: Man who allegedly shot firefighters identified
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Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo:

“State Police and our State Office of Emergency Management are working in conjunction with local law enforcement to respond to the scene of the horrific shooting that occurred early this morning in Webster as firefighters and police responded to a car fire.

All of our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of those who were killed in this senseless act of violence.

New York's first responders are true heroes as they time and again selflessly rush toward danger in order to keep our families and communities safe. Volunteer firefighters and police officers were injured and two were taken from us as they once again answered the call of duty. We as the community of New York mourn their loss as now two more families must spend the holidays without their loved ones.

One behalf of my family and all New Yorkers, I offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed today and pray for the recovery of the injured.”

Statement from MCC

The president of Monroe Community College, Anne Kress, released a statement saying the community is deeply saddened by today's tragic news.

She said in part, "All four of Webster’s heroic first responders have ties to Monroe Community College. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of those courageous individuals who selflessly protected their community.”

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