NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

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Normal NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

Post by raine1953 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:53 pm

(CNN) -- A man convicted of killing his grandmother decades ago ambushed firefighters on Monday, fatally shooting two of them as they arrived to battle a blaze in upstate New York, police said.
Two other volunteer firefighters were wounded in the attack in the Rochester-area town of Webster. A police officer from the nearby town of Greece suffered minor shrapnel wounds when his vehicle was hit by gunfire.
Investigators believe the suspect, William Spengler, 62, set the original fire, then likely set himself up on a berm with a clear view of the scene and started shooting.

Investigators say that William Spengler, 62, deliberately lured firefighters to the house fire.
"It appears that it was a trap," Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. "There was a car and a house that were involved in flames, probably set by Mr. Spengler, who laid in wait in armament and then shot the first responders."
Authorities do not know how Spengler -- who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after the four firefighters were shot -- obtained the weapon or weapons he used or why he opened fire, Pickering told reporters. As a convicted felon, Spengler was not allowed to legally possess weapons, but he had "several different types of weapons" Monday, the police chief said.
Spengler was convicted in 1981 of first-degree manslaughter in the death of his grandmother and had been released on supervised parole, Pickering said.
N.Y. man who shot dead 2 firefighters killed grandmother in 1980
He is believed to have lived in the home where the original fire erupted with his sister, who has not yet been accounted for, Pickering said. Their mother died sometime in the past year, the chief added.
In chilling audio heard over the scanner, a West Webster Fire Department firefighter reported "multiple firemen shot" -- including himself, with wounds to his lower back and lower leg -- and "shots still being fired."
Police: Gunman set trap for firefighters 2 firefighters shot dead at house fire
"I'm pretty sure that we have two DOAs" -- the term for dead on arrival -- "on the street," the wounded firefighter said. "... They're down and not good."
For several hours after that Monday, the threat of gunfire stopped firefighters from battling the blaze and forced police SWAT teams to evacuate 33 people in the neighborhood of small, waterfront homes.
Eventually, seven houses were "totally destroyed" by the fire. Although the fires were under control as of 2:30 p.m. ET, by then authorities still hadn't been able to get in any of the homes. Pickering said it's possible more victims could be inside.
"I'm hoping that everyone was able to escape from the inferno," he said. "Those houses were close together."
With 'raging inferno' and gunfire, scene described as 'chaos'
Firefighters first arrived at the Webster fire before 6 a.m., said Rob Boutillier, the town's fire marshal.
By then, Spengler had set up himself somewhere above the scene in a "natural hollow, a position of cover to actually be a sniper," Pickering explained.
The calls from firefighter came in soon after, reporting that four of them had been shot. Police officers rushed to the scene, and one of the first ones there exchanged fire, "in all likelihood, (saving) many lives," according to the police chief.
"When we get there, we have people down, we have raging fires, and we have gunshots going off," Pickering said.
"It's chaos. It's chaos."
Authorities worked quickly to set up a perimeter, trying to contain the situation and the shooter. Neighborhood residents were first told to "shelter in place" because the gunman was at large, but some left their homes because of the fire.
Several people could be seen running. Police tracked some of them down, found they were neighbors seeking safety and escorted them out. Eventually, residents were whisked from the area in armored personnel carriers. All the while, there was "this raging inferno, with black smoke everywhere," Pickering said.
No more gunfire was exchanged after that initial burst, though police did see a man they believed to be Spengler moving at times. The police chief said he didn't know if the police officer hit Spengler early on, but he said the medical examiner indicated that Spengler died after shooting himself in the head.
Two firefighters also died at the scene.

Police have identified one of the firefighters killed as Lt. Mike Chiapperini.
One of them, Lt. Michael Chiapperini, was a veteran of the West Webster Fire Department and a police lieutenant. He'd been named Firefighter of the Year just two weeks ago, and not long before that, he had volunteered to go to Long Island to help those suffering after Superstorm Sandy, according to Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy.
The other slain firefighter was Tomasz Kaczowka, who was also a 911 dispatcher. He'd been with the West Webster Fire Department for just more than a year, fire department spokesman Al Sienkiewicz said.
One firefighter escaped from the scene in his own vehicle about an hour after he was shot and was taken to a hospital by an ambulance from another location, Boutillier said. Another wounded firefighter was conscious and speaking when he was removed from the scene, he said.
The wounded firefighters were in intensive care Monday at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, officials said.
The other person wounded was a Greece, New York, police officer who was on his way to work when his car was fired upon. He suffered shrapnel wounds that Pickering described as minor.
"We work with these people everyday; they're like our brothers," said Pickering of the slain firefighters, as he fought back tears. "It's terrible."
New shooting spurs more talk on gun control
Authorities have not said what weapons were found with Spengler, though Pickering said "probably at least a rifle was used" to shoot the first responders.
"I know that many people are going to be asking, 'Were they assault rifles?' I don't know that. I can't answer that at this time," he told reporters.
The shooting occurred amid a renewed gun control debate after the December 14 elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 26 people, most of them children. The gunman in that case, Adam Lanza, also killed his mother and himself.
The head of a lobbying group that represents first responders said the Monday shooting was "senseless and cruel."
"The firefighters who responded today were performing a selfless, meaningful service to their community, unaware that a cold-hearted maniac was planning to ambush them and take their lives," said Harold Schaitberger, general president of the Washington-based International Association of Fire Fighters. "Coming on the heels of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and on Christmas Eve, this shooting is even harder to comprehend."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the Webster shooting as "horrific." And the state's attorney general called it a "senseless tragedy"
President Barack Obama has set a January deadline for "concrete proposals" to deal with gun violence in the wake of the Newtown school shooting.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, has said she will introduce legislation to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, while National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre has said his group will fight any new gun restrictions, saying most gun laws now on the books are rarely enforced.
Pickering, the Webster police chief, said it was important -- in the wake of the shooting in his town and others -- to "get a handle on gun control." He also said more needs to be done to make sure that dangerous people aren't in society, where they can kill.
"For the last 20 years we have been turning people loose and deinstitutionalizing people, and I think we've swung too far," he said. "I think there are still people that need to be in institutions that are a danger to themselves or others. And this is a classic example."
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Normal 4 firefighters shot, 2 killed at Webster, N.Y., fire

Post by raine1953 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:09 pm

WEBSTER, N.Y. — A gunman ambushed firefighters at a house fire in the Rochester suburb of Webster, N.Y., early Monday, killing two firemen and injuring two others before killing himself on a Lake Ontario beach.

Seven homes were destroyed as firefighters waited for police to secure the scene.

The gunman, who shot himself at the scene, was identified as 62-year-old William Spengler. He was charged in 1980 with beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer in her home next door.

Spengler served 17 years in New York State prison on manslaughter charges, police officials said. He was on probation until 2006 and reportedly had lived quietly with his mother, who died in October, and sister at 191 Lake Road, along a sliver of land between Irondequoit Bay and the lake.

Spengler's 67-year-old sister, Cheryl, remains unaccounted for.

Spengler apparently set fire to the home and a vehicle to lure firefighters, whom he shot from a berm nearby. Police have have not determined a motive for the arson and killings, nor have they released details about the weapons Spengler used or possessed. As a convicted felon, he could not legally own firearms.

Police Chief Gerald Pickering, choking up frequently as he spoke to reporters, said all four firefighters who responded to the call at 5:35 a.m. ET came under fire when they drove up.

The dead are Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43, a volunteer firefighter and the police department's public information officer, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, who worked as a 911 dispatcher for Monroe County. Chiapperini was named "Firefighter of the Year" two weeks ago.

"It is a very difficult situation," Pickering said, his voice quavering.

"People get up in the middle of the night to fight fires," he said. "They don't expect to be shot and killed."

He said Chiapperini "took public service to the nth degree. He was all about giving back to the community. When he wasn't working as a police officer he was always the first on the truck."

"He didn't have to be there," said Al Sienkiewicz, a former chief and department now spokesman. "He was bunking in voluntarily so others could stay at home."

The 911 center's director said he was ""everyone's little brother" and would often bring desserts his mother made.

The injured firefighters are Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino. Hofsetter suffered a severe injury to his pelvis. Scardino was shot in the left shoulder, with the bullet hitting his lung. An off-duty police officer who was driving by at the time also was injured by flying shrapnel.

Pickering said Spengler had staked out a position with an arsenal of several firearms on a berm overlooking the scene.

"It appears that it was a trap," Pickering said. "There was a car in a house that was engulfed in flames, probably set by Mr. Spengler, who lay in wait with his armaments and shot the first responders."

"Looking at his history, obviously this is an individual who has a lot of problems, who killed his grandmother, and I'm sure there were mental health issues," Pickering said.

Spengler told police he hit his grandmother, Rose Spengler, with a hammer during an argument. He then went home and told his mother, who found her body at the bottom of the basement stairs. He also reportedly talked about suicide after confessing to a detective.

As his trial for second-degree murder was beginning in July 1981, Spengler pleaded guilty to manslaughter, telling the judge he wanted to spare his family "the pain of a trial."

Pickering said the 911 call early Monday was apparently called in by a resident in the neighborhood of small lakeside vacation homes.

The police officer at the scene who first radioed in to report the presence of a shooter said he "could see the muzzle blast coming at me."

"It's going to be a rifle or a shotgun, high-powered," the officer said, according to a tape of the call. "He's right across from the house on fire."

Pickering said the first Webster police officer who arrived chased Spengler and exchanged gunfire with him, authorities said. The officer "in all likelihood saved many lives," he said.

Because of the crime scene, firefighters had to let the flames spread and could not fight the blaze until about 11 a.m., after the gunman was confirmed dead. Besides Spengler's house, six neighboring homes burned to the ground. At one point, a SWAT team escorted some residents to a bus that took them from the neighborhood.

"These firemen are part of our family. You go into a fire with these guys. To see them go down with something like this is totally unexpected. We are in shock," said fire district commissioner Billy Gross.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the State Police and Office of Emergency Management were working with local authorities.

"Volunteer firefighters and police officers were injured, and two were taken from us as they once again answered the call of duty," Cuomo said in a statement. "We as the community of New York mourn their loss as now two more families must spend the holidays without their loved ones."

Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, issued a statement calling the calculated shooting of firefighters "both senseless and cruel."

"The firefighters who responded today were performing a selfless, meaningful service to their community, unaware that a cold-hearted maniac was planning to ambush them and take their lives," the statement said. "Coming on the heels of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and on Christmas Eve, this shooting is even harder to comprehend."

Webster resident Michael Damico was among those neighbors who were evacuated.

"The whole strip's been evacuated," he said. "They're evacuating all of the houses and going through them."

Damico's son woke him up around 8 a.m. to tell him about the fire that was burning down the street.

"We looked out the window and we saw the SWAT team and everyone around," he said.

"Some people on this bus already watched their houses burn," Damico said. "They're not happy."

The village of Webster, with a population of about 5,000, is located in the center of the town of Webster, where more than 42,000 people live northeast of Rochester, along Lake Ontario.

Firefighter shootings over the years

Instances of firefighters shot and killed while responding to a fire or other emergency incident are relatively rare.

A gunman in 2008 killed firefighter Ryan Hummert, 22, and wounded two police officers as they responded to a pickup truck and house fire in Maplewood, a St. Louis suburb. Later that year, a carjacker shot and killed off-duty St. Louis firefighter Leonard Riggins, who saw a car wreck and stopped to help, not knowing that the armed carjacker had crashed the car.
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Roswell, N.M., Fire Chief Steven Jones, 46, died in March 2002, after responding to a structure fire. As Jones approached the house, a man began firing, hitting Jones in the head and killing a paramedic. The shooter, a man with a history of mental illness, had set the fire, killed a neighbor, shot the neighbor's 3-year-old son and took a 5-year-old child hostage, before killing himself, according to a report from the Roswell Fire Department.

A house burns after a man set fire and then shot and killed a responding police officer and a firefighter while injuring two other firefighters. The man was later found dead. Monday December 24, 2012 in Webster, New York.

Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini was one of two volunteer firefighters slain Monday. Chiapperini , seen here in April 2011, was also the police department's public information officer.

Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, was a West Webster volunteer firefighter who worked as a 911 dispatcher for Monroe County, N.Y.

William H. Spengler, 62, ambushed Webster, N.Y., firefighters responding to a pre-dawn house fire Monday. He killed himself after gunning down four firefighters.
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Normal Officials: NY Gunman Set 'Trap' for Firefighters

Post by raine1953 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:20 pm

A man who set his house on fire then lured firefighters to their deaths in a blaze of flames and bullets had attracted little attention since he got out of prison in the 1990s for killing his grandmother, authorities said.

But two months ago, William Spengler's mother died, leaving the 62-year-old ex-con in a Lake Ontario house with his sister, who he "couldn't stand," a friend said.

Spengler set a car and a house in his neighborhood ablaze early Monday, luring firefighters to the neighborhood and then killed two, wounded two others and injured a police officer while several homes burned around him, police said. Spengler then killed himself. His sister, Cheryl, was missing.

About 100 people attended an impromptu memorial vigil Monday evening in Webster, a suburb of Rochester. Dozens of bouquets were left at the fire station, along with a handwritten sign that said, "Thanks for protecting us. RIP."

Spengler, had been living in the home in Webster, a suburb of Rochester, with his mother and sister since his parole in 1998. He had served 17 years in prison after the beating death of his 92-year-old grandmother in 1980, for which he had originally been charged with murder but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter. His mother, Arline, died in October.

On Monday, Spengler fired at the four firefighters when they arrived shortly after 5:30 a.m. at the blaze, town police Chief Gerald Pickering said. The first police officer who arrived chased the gunman and exchanged shots.

Spengler lay in wait outdoors for the firefighters' arrival, then opened fire probably with a rifle and from atop an earthen berm, Pickering said. "It does appear it was a trap," he said.

Authorities used an armored vehicle to help residents flee dozens of homes on the shore of Lake Ontario a day before Christmas. Police restricted access to the neighborhood, and officials said it was unclear whether there were other bodies in the seven houses left to burn.

Authorities said Spengler hadn't done anything to bring himself to their attention since his parole. As a convicted felon, he wasn't allowed to possess weapons. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said Spengler led a very quiet life after he got out of prison.

A friend said Spengler hated his sister. Roger Vercruysse lived next door to Spengler and recalled a man who doted on his mother, whose obituary suggested contributions to the West Webster Fire Department.

"He loved his mama to death," said Vercruysse, who last saw his friend about six months ago.

Vercruysse also said Spengler "couldn't stand his sister" and "stayed on one side of the house and she stayed on the other."

The West Webster Fire District learned of the fire early Monday after a report of a car and house on fire on Lake Road, on a narrow peninsula where Irondequoit Bay meets Lake Ontario, Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn said.

The fire appeared from a distance as a pulsating ball of flame glowing against the early morning sky, flames licking into treetops and reflecting on the water, with huge bursts of smoke billowing away in a brisk wind.

Emergency radio communications capture someone saying he "could see the muzzle flash coming at me" as Spengler carried out his ambush. The audio posted on the website RadioReference.com has someone reporting "firefighters are down" and saying "got to be rifle or shotgun - high powered ... semi or fully auto."

Two of the firefighters arrived on a fire engine and two in their own vehicles, Pickering said. After Spengler fired, one of the wounded men fled, but the other three couldn't because of flying gunfire.

The police officer who exchanged gunfire with Spengler "in all likelihood saved many lives," Pickering said.

A police armored vehicle was used to recover two men, and eventually it removed 33 people from nearby homes, the police chief said. The gunfire initially kept firefighters from battling the blazes.

The dead men were identified as police Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 43, the Webster Police Department's public information officer; and 19-year-old Tomasz Kaczowka, also a 911 dispatcher.

Pickering described Chiapperini as a "lifetime firefighter" with nearly 20 years in the department, and he called Kaczowka a "tremendous young man."

Kaczowka's brother, reached at the family home Monday night, said he didn't want to talk.

The two wounded firefighters, Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino, remained in guarded condition Tuesday at Strong Memorial Hospital, authorities said. Both were awake and alert and are expected to recover.

Hofstetter, also a full-timer with the Rochester Fire Department, was hit once in the pelvis, and the bullet lodged in his spine, authorities said. Scardino was hit in the chest and knee.

At West Webster Fire Station 1, there were at least 20 bouquets on a bench in front and a bouquet of roses with three gold-and-white ribbons saying, "May they rest in peace," ''In the line of duty" and "In memory of our fallen brothers."

A handwritten sign says, "Thanks for protecting us, RIP." Two candles were lit to honor the dead.

Grieving firefighters declined to talk to reporters. At an impromptu memorial vigil Monday evening, about 100 people stood in the cold night air, some holding candles. A fire department spokesman made a brief appearance, thanked them all and told them to go home and appreciate their families.

Cathy Bartlett was there with her teenage son, who was good friends with Kaczowka. Bartlett's husband, Mark Bartlett, has been a firefighter there for 25 years but missed the call this morning.

"Thank God my husband slept through the first alarm and didn't get up until the second one went off," she said.

The shooting and fires were in a neighborhood of seasonal and year-round homes set close together across the road from the lakeshore. The area is popular with recreational boaters but is normally quiet this time of year.

"We have very few calls for service in that location," Pickering said. "Webster is a tremendous community. We are a safe community, and to have a tragedy befall us like this is just horrendous."

O'Flynn lamented the violence, which comes on the heels of other shootings including the massacre of 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

"It's sad to see that this is becoming more commonplace in communities across the nation," O'Flynn said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the State Police and Office of Emergency Management were working with local authorities.

"Volunteer firefighters and police officers were injured and two were taken from us as they once again answered the call of duty," Cuomo said in a statement. "We as the community of New York mourn their loss as now two more families must spend the holidays without their loved ones."

Webster, a middle-class suburb, now is the scene of violence linked to house fires for two Decembers in a row.

Last Dec. 7, authorities say, a 15-year-old boy doused his home with gasoline and set it ablaze, killing his father and two brothers, 16 and 12. His mother and 13-year-old sister escaped with injuries. He is being prosecuted as an adult.
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Normal Police release audio of NY firefighter shooting

Post by raine1953 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:25 pm

Police say the motive of the gunman who killed two volunteer firefighters and wounded two others in a Christmas Eve ambush in upstate New York remained unknown.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said shooting suspect William Spengler carried three weapons.
"He was armed. He armed himself with three different weapons, and an arsenal of ammunition. He armed himself with a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver, a Mossberg 12 gauge pump shotgun, and a .223 Bushmaster rifle with a flash suppressor. The investigation, and the lineage of the weapons, is continuing, " he said.
Emergency radio recordings of first-responders describe how the gunman opened fire on the volunteer firefighters and police who responded to scene on Monday morning.
"I see shots fired on my end. He went down. I don't know if I hit him or not. He's by a tree," one officer is heard saying.
Spengler started shooting at arriving firefighters before they got out of their truck, and shot out a truck's windshield as firemen tried to drive away. Police arrived and fired back at the gunman, Chief Pickering said.

"My police officer immediately engaged and returned fire with our duty rifles with the shooter, essentially was a combat condition, they were shooting at muzzle flash. I don't know if my officer did make contact and was able to injure the shooter or not, that's to be determined by the medical doing autopsies."
Spengler, age 62, shot and killed himself in an ensuing gunfight with police.
The gunman who killed the two volunteer firefighters and wounded two others in a Christmas Eve left a typewritten note declaring his plan to burn down his neighbourhood and start killing people, Pickering said.
"The investigators located a typed written note from Spengler which specified his intent. I can't release the note. It is evidentiary, but I'll read to you one of the sentences out of the two to three pages typed written note that really and clearly goes to his intent while the note does not go to motive. 'I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighbourhood I can burn down, and like doing what I like best, killing people,'" Pickering said.
The firefighters killed in the attack were Lieutenant Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, authorities said.
The injured firefighters were identified as Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino. Both men were listed in guarded condition on Tuesday at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
Police said human remains were recovered at the site of the one of the house fires. They were investigating to identify the body, but noted that William Spengler's sister was known to reside at the address. She has been unaccounted for since the shooting incident.
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Normal New York firefighters who survived deadly ambush thankful for support

Post by raine1953 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:29 pm


This undated image provided by the West Webster fire department shows firefighters Theodore Scardino, left, and Joseph Hofstetter, right.

WEBSTER, N.Y. – Two New York firefighters who survived a calculated ambush that killed two fellow firefighters and wounded several others in suburban Rochester, N.Y. say they are thankful for the support they've received from the public.
Volunteer firefighters Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino, who had been in guarded condition in the hospital, were upgraded to satisfactory condition on Wednesday.
Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester released a statement from the two saying they were "humbled and a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of well wishes for us and our families.
The firefighters said their "thoughts and prayers" were with the families of colleagues Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, killed by William Spengler Jr., a convicted felon barred from having guns. Funerals are set for the next few days for Chiapperini and Kaczowka.
Spengler mapped out a plan and left behind a note outlining his "clear intent" to burn his neighborhood to the ground and "do what I like doing best, killing people," authorities said.
The gunman set his home and a car on fire on Monday in what police called "a clear ambush on first responders." Spengler was found dead at the scene.
The two to three page note contained the shooter's "clear intent" to ambush first responders but did not reveal the shooter's motive. The police chief said that the shooter's motive may have taken root more than 30 years ago when the police department arrested Spengler for murdering his grandmother.
"There was no motive in the note. There were some ramblings in there. It spoke mainly of his intent to burn his neighborhood down and hurt as many people as possible before stopping," Webster police Chief Gerald Pickering said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

Hours later, authorities announced that human remains were found in the charred house that 62-year-old Spengler shared with his 67-year-old sister, Cheryl Spengler. Police said the victim is believed to be the shooter's sister.
Police say Spengler armed himself with a revolver, shotgun and military-style rifle before he set his house afire to lure first responders into a pre-dawn death trap on Christmas Eve.
Pickering says Spengler "was equipped to go to war."
Spengler killed himself as seven houses burned around him. A friend said Spengler hated his sister but police say a motive hasn't been determined.
Spengler was armed with a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, a .38-caliber revolver and a 12-gauge shotgun, cops said. The Bushmaster rifle used by Spengler is the same make and caliber semiautomatic rifle as the one used in the Connecticut school massacre.
Spengler killed two firefighters and wounded two others before fatally shooting himself. Once firefighters arrived, Spengler, under a 'position of cover' fired at the firefighters from a distance after they arrived around 5:30 a.m. to battle the blaze near the Lake Ontario shore, just east of Rochester, Town of Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said.
The shooter was found dead hours after a brief shootout with cops according to Pickering. Spengler was found around 11 a.m. near the shore of the lake with a self -inflicted gun shot wound. The first Webster police officer who arrived on the scene exchanged gunfire with the shooter.
Pickering said there were "heroic acts" by first responders who attempted to bring their comrades under cover from the attack.
"It appears to be a trap that was set for responders," Pickering said in a press conference on Monday.
"It is a very difficult situation," he said Monday at a press conference, holding back tears. "People get up in the middle of the night to fight fires.They don't expect to be shot and killed."
Of the four volunteer firefighters, two were fatally shot including Kaczowka and Chiapperini, who was also a lieutenant and public information officer for the local police department.
The two volunteers who survived were taken to University of Rochester Medical Center were they were listed in guarded condition in the intensive care unit, according to hospital officials. Hofsetter suffered server injuries to his pelvis, while Scardino was shot in his shoulder and lung. Both men are stable.
The West Webster Fire District received a report of a car and house on fire on Lake Road, on a narrow peninsula where Irondequoit Bay meets Lake Ontario, Flynn said.
"When they got there, they stated to take on rounds and the initial responders were struck," the sheriff said.
The first police officer who arrived chased and exchanged shots with Spengler, recounting it later over his police radio.
"I could see the muzzle blasts comin' at me. ... I fired four shots at him. I thought he went down," the officer said.
At another point, he said: "I don't know if I hit him or not. He's by a tree. ... He was movin' eastbound on the berm when I was firing shots." Pickering portrayed the officer as a hero who saved many lives.
The audio posted on the website RadioReference.com also has someone reporting "firefighters are down" and saying "got to be rifle or shotgun -- high-powered ... semi or fully auto."
About 100 people attended an impromptu memorial vigil Monday evening in Webster, a suburb of Rochester. Dozens of bouquets were left at the fire station, along with a handwritten sign that said, "Thanks for protecting us. RIP."
Investigators believe that Spengler set his family's home and a car on fire which spread to six other homes,officials said.
According to police officials, Spengler has a lengthy criminal record, including a manslaughter conviction for murdering his own grandmother, Rose Spengler, when he bludgeoned her to death with a hammer in 1980. Spengler Served 17 years in prison for the his crime.
Roger Vercruysse said William Spengler was a good friend when they lived next door in Webster, a Rochester suburb. He said Spengler "loved his mama to death." Arline Spengler died in October, and Vercruysse wonders what effect that had on her 62-year-old son. He says he thinks William Spengler "went crazy" after she died.
Over 30 residents were evacuated from the area, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, and kept aboard city buses for warmth.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement saying, "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."
“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.”
Webster, a middle-class, lakeside suburb, now is the scene of violence linked to house fires for two Decembers in a row.
Last Dec. 7, authorities say, a 15-year-old boy doused his home with gasoline and set it ablaze, killing his father and two brothers, 16 and 12. His mother and 13-year-old sister escaped with injuries. He is being prosecuted as an adult.

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Normal 'Brother, hang tight,' wounded New York firefighter told as two colleagues lay dead

Post by raine1953 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:35 pm

(CNN) -- A firefighter shot by a sniper in upstate New York calmly described his wounds as "eventually mortal" unless he got medical help soon, although paramedics were kept away because the shooter could still be near Monday morning.
"Be advised I am struck in the lower leg, knee area, and the lower left back," volunteer firefighter Theodore Scardino told a Monroe County, New York, dispatcher as he used his firetruck for cover Monday morning.
"Brother, hang tight," the dispatcher told Scardino.
Two firefighters lay dead on the street near Scardino, not moving since they were shot, he said.
"I am in the danger zone right now," Scardino radioed. "I need EMS or I'm going to be joining them."
The recorded emergency radio traffic from the incident is archived at the website radioreference.com.
The shots came across the street from the burning house and car that were set on fire by the shooter, 62-year-old William Spengler, police said. He was aiming at a West Webster Fire Department truck that answered his call to 911, they said.

Police say William Spengler, 62, deliberately lured firefighters to the house fire.
But ambulances were kept away because police didn't know if the shooter was still there, hidden behind a tree on a hill above.
While he waited and bled, Scardino made a request. "Is it possible to notify my next of kin and apprise of the situation? I have a hysterical mother."
With the help of two residents of the neighborhood, Scardino eventually left the scene in his Chevy Trailblazer, the vehicle he drove there in response to the initial fire call 35 minutes earlier.
Spengler, who was convicted of killing his grandmother decades ago, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours later.
Scardino and firefighter Joseph Hofstetter survived their gunshot wounds and were "convalescing and doing as well as I would expect at this stage," a doctor at University of Rochester Hospital said Wednesday.
"Mr. Scardino and Mr. Hofstetter are both receiving supportive care and are making small steps on their long road ahead," Dr. Nicole Stassen, a trauma surgeon said. "It is critical that they remain in an environment where they can focus on rest and recovery."
Tributes to two fallen firefighters Cops: Killer of 2 firefighters left note Hear firefighters' calls after shooting Cop: Gunman set up to shoot firefighters
The men will start physical therapy Wednesday and their conditions should be upgraded to "satisfactory" later in the day, Stassen said.
The firefighters who were killed -- Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka -- will be buried after separate funerals Sunday and Monday.
"Calling hours" -- a time for mourners to gather and remember them -- will be held at Webster Schroeder High School Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening, according to a school official.
Chiapperini's funeral will be held at the high school on Sunday, while Kaczowka's funeral is scheduled for Monday at the St. Stainslaus Kostka Church in Rochester.
Chiapperini, named "Firefighter of the Year" for his West Webster Fire Department just two weeks ago, was also lieutenant with his town's police department.
His 19-year-old son, Nick Chiapperini, was on the job in the Monroe Ambulance Company dispatch center when the call for help came in, according to West Webster Fire Department spokesman Al Sienkiewicz.
"Nick was in the dispatch center and heard the entire ordeal play out over the scanners," Sienkiewicz said. "It's something no one should have to hear."
The son is "doing as well as expected for a 19-year-old man who just lost his father," he said. "Nick was undoubtedly following in his father's footsteps and admired him very much."
Kaczowka, who was also a 911 dispatcher, had been with the West Webster Fire Department for just more than a year, Sienkiewicz said.
Spengler used a .223-caliber semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle -- the same caliber and make used in the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, police said. He was also armed with a 38-caliber revolver and a 12-gauge shotgun, they said.
"He was equipped to go to war," Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said Tuesday.
Spengler left a typewritten note behind saying he hoped to burn down his neighborhood and kill as many people as possible, Pickering said.
"I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best -- killing people," it said.
A charred body, believed to be his sister's, was found in the burned house she shared with him, police said.
It will be a challenge for the medical examiner to determine if William Spengler's sister -- 67-year-old Cheryl Spengler -- was killed before the fire was set, because it was a "raging inferno," Pickering said.
Spengler was convicted in 1981 of first-degree manslaughter in the death of his grandmother and had been released on supervised parole, Pickering said.
Spengler was especially attentive to his mother, who passed away in October, a former neighbor, Roger Vercruysse said, visiting her every day in a nursing home until she died.
Contacted by CNN by e-mail, Spengler's cousin, Shirley Ashwood, responded in an e-mail that her family had distanced itself from him after he killed his grandmother. She had only seen him in the past year while visiting her aunt and briefly at the funeral.
He should have stayed in prison, she wrote.
"The system failed all of us again," she said, adding that her family grieved for the fallen firefighters -- one of whom her two daughters knew from school -- and Cheryl Spengler.
Seven houses were destroyed and several others damaged by the fire, which investigators believe spread from a car parked next to the home where Spengler lived, Pickering said.
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Normal Man who shot firefighters died of self-inflicted wound, coroner says

Post by raine1953 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:39 pm

New York (CNN) -- A man who ambushed firefighters Monday, fatally shooting two of them as they arrived to put out a raging inferno in upstate New York, took his own life with gunshot to the head, according to an autopsy conducted by the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.
Two other volunteer firefighters were wounded in the attack in the Rochester-area town of Webster.
Firefighters honor fallen comrades Hear firefighters' calls after shooting
Authorities do not know how William Spengler, 62, who was found dead hours after the four firefighters were shot, obtained the weapon or weapons he used or why he opened fire.
Shooter who ambushed firefighters left note showing intent to burn, kill
As a convicted felon, Spengler could not legally possess guns, but he had "several different types of weapons," Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. Spengler was convicted in 1981 of first-degree manslaughter in the death of his grandmother and had been released on supervised parole.
"It appears that it was a trap," Pickering said. "There was a car and a house that were involved in flames, probably set by Mr. Spengler, who laid in wait in armament and then shot the first responders."
In audio heard over a scanner, a West Webster Fire Department firefighter reported "multiple firemen shot" -- including himself, with wounds to his lower back and lower leg -- and "shots still being fired."
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Normal Fireman shooting US gun maniac 'sister body' found in home

Post by raine1953 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:44 pm

A MANIAC who torched his own house to lure firemen before shooting them dead is also believed to have killed his sister, it emerged today.
Human remains - thought by cops to be those of William Spengler's sister Cheryl - were found in the property last night.
Cheryl, 67 - who neighbours say Spengler "hated" - had been missing since the day of the shooting.
Spengler had been banned from having guns after serving 17 years for beating his 92-year-old gran to death with a hammer.

But cops revealed on Christmas Eve he armed himself with an assault rifle, shotgun and pistol and torched his house and other homes so he could shoot firemen.
He left a detailed three page typewritten note saying he wanted to: “do what I do best, killing people”.
He killed volunteers Michael Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, and wounded two others.
Spengler killed himself in a gunfight with cops as seven houses burned in Webster, New York State.
Webster police chief Gerald Pickering today said: “He was equipped to go to war, kill innocent people.” He continued: "I'm not sure we'll never really know what was going through his mind."
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Normal Entire Audio here- Very Disturbing.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:57 pm



Last edited by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Normal Re: NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:00 pm

Tons of articles about this here:
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Thank you, Raine, for posting all these articles. This is simply HORRIFIC!! I pray these assault weapons are banned. It pizzes me off that the State of NY let this Maniac go free. cryingagain

Firefighters have such a hard and dangerous job as it is. This makes me so damned Angry!! My heart goes out to all the families..and OMG, his poor sister and grandmother!!

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Normal Autopsy in N.Y. firefighter ambush shows gunman William Spengler killed himself

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:03 pm

By Crimesider Staff Topics Daily Blotter

(AP) WEBSTER, N.Y. - State police say an autopsy shows the upstae New Yok gunman who lured two New York firefighters to their deaths in an ambush died of a self-inflicted shot to the head and wasn't hit by return fire from a police officer.

William Spengler, 62, set his home and a car on fire before dawn on Christmas Eve, took up a sniper's position, and opened fire on the first two firefighters to arrive, authorities say. A positive identification of the body found inside Spengler's burned house hasn't been made yet. Police believe it was his sister.

Troopers say autopsies show West Webster firefighter Michael Chiapperini died of a single gunshot and Tomasz Kaczowka died of two shots.

Spengler, who killed his grandmother in 1980, also wounded two other firefighters and an off-duty police officer.

Investigators aren't sayin how the ex-convict got the weapons. He was legally barred from possessing them. They probably have no clue HOW he got the weapons. Horrific!!

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Normal Re: NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:05 pm

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Normal Re: NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:59 pm

Feds trace fire freak’s illegal gun

By REUVEN FENTON and TIM PERONE
Last Updated: 10:35 AM, December 27, 2012
Posted: 12:44 AM, December 27, 2012

The feds have traced the buyer and seller of the illegally owned weapons used by William Spengler Jr. in the ambush killing of two upstate firefighters, it was reported yesterday.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it has turned the information over to New York State Police, but couldn’t release details because the investigation is ongoing, The Associated Press said.

Spengler, 62, wasn’t able to legally purchase the .223 Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle used in the slayings because he served 17 years for killing his grandmother.

Spengler set his Webster home on fire Monday and then waited for firefighters to respond. He killed Michael Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, and wounded two others.

A burnt body, presumed to be Spengler’s 67-year-old sister, Cheryl, was found in the home.

Spengler left behind a typed, three-page letter in which he said, “I still have to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best: killing people.”

Neighbors described Spengler as a creepy loner who was sick of being rejected during his attempts at small talk.

“He was shunned by a lot of people down there and maybe he was a little sick of it,” Jim Smith said.

“He would come over and try to make small talk. When you were outside, you really couldn’t get away from him. He’d always want to come over.

“As soon as you’d pull in there, he’d just come out. I kind of thought he was lonely and wanted to talk to somebody.”

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:02 pm


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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:12 pm

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Normal Dawn Nguyen Arrested In Connection With Webster Firefighter Shooting

Post by raine1953 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:13 pm

WEBSTER, N.Y. — The convicted felon who ambushed firefighters on Christmas Eve, killing two, couldn't legally buy the guns he used but he picked out the semiautomatic rifle and shotgun and was in the sporting goods store with a neighbor's daughter when she bought them for him, police said Friday.

The woman, Dawn Nguyen of Rochester, was arrested Friday and faces a federal charge of knowingly making a false statement for signing a form indicating she would be the legal owner of the guns, U.S. Attorney William Hochul said. She also was charged with a state count of filing a falsified business record, State Police Senior Investigator James Newell said.

The charges are connected to the purchase of an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun that William Spengler had with him Monday when firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were gunned down. Three other people were wounded before the 62-year-old Spengler killed himself. He also had a .38-caliber revolver, but Nguyen is not connected to that gun, Newell said.

Hochul said Nguyen bought the rifle and shotgun on June 6, 2010, on behalf of Spengler, who as a convicted felon was barred from possessing weapons. Police used the serial numbers on the guns to trace them to Nguyen.

"She told the seller of these guns, Gander Mountain in Henrietta, N.Y., that she was to be the true owner and buyer of the guns instead of William Spengler," Hochul said. "It is absolutely against federal law to provide any materially false information related to the acquisition of firearms."

"It is sometimes referred to acting as a straw purchaser and that is exactly what today's complaint alleges," he said.

Police say Spengler went with Nguyen to Gander Mountain and picked out the weapons himself. During an interview late on Christmas Eve, she told police she had bought the guns for personal protection and that they were stolen from her vehicle, though she never reported the guns stolen.

The day after the shootings, Nguyen texted an off-duty Monroe County Sheriff's deputy with references to the killings. She later called the deputy and admitted she bought the guns for Spengler, police said.

That information was consistent with a suicide note found near Spengler's body after he killed himself.

The .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, which had a combat-style flash suppressor, is similar to the one used by the gunman who massacred 20 children and six women in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school earlier this month.

Nguyen and her mother, Dawn Welsher, lived next door to Spengler in 2008. On Wednesday and again on Friday, shortly before her arrest, she answered her cellphone and told The Associated Press that she didn't want to talk about Spengler. Her brother, Steven Nguyen, told the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper of Rochester that Spengler stole the guns from Dawn Nguyen.

A number listed in the name of her lawyer, David Palmiere, was disconnected.

Spengler set a car on fire and touched off an inferno in his Webster home on a strip of land along the Lake Ontario shore, took up a sniper's position and opened fire on the first firefighters to arrive at about 5:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve, authorities said. He wounded two other firefighters and an off-duty police officer who was on his way to work.

A Webster police officer who had accompanied the firefighters shot back at Spengler with a rifle in a brief exchange of gunfire before the gunman killed himself.

Spengler spent 17 years in prison for killing his grandmother in 1980.

Investigators still haven't released the identity of remains found in Spengler's burned house. They have said they believe the remains are those of his 67-year-old sister, Cheryl Spengler, who also lived in the house near Rochester and has been unaccounted for since the killings. The Spengler siblings had lived in the home with their mother, Arline Spengler, who died in October. In all, seven houses were destroyed by the flames.

Investigators found a rambling, typed letter laying out Spengler's intention to destroy his neighborhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people."

He had been released from parole in 2006 on the manslaughter conviction, and authorities said they had had no encounters with him since.

The federal charges carry a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or both.
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Normal William Spengler Praised By Four Parole Boards After 17 Years In Prison For Killing Grandma

Post by raine1953 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:01 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. — William Spengler raised no alarms in prison for 17 years and for more than a decade afterward. Well-spoken, well-behaved and intelligent, his demeanor was praised by four straight parole boards that nevertheless denied him parole, worried that bludgeoning his 92-year-old grandmother with a hammer showed a violent streak that could explode again.

After his sentence was up in 1996, he stayed out of trouble until 2010, police said Friday. That's when Spengler went to a sporting goods store with a neighbor's daughter, picked out a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle and a shotgun and had her buy the guns that the convicted felon couldn't legally possess. On Monday, he used the weapons to ambush firefighters lured to a blaze he set at his house in upstate Webster, killing two people and wounding three others before killing himself.

On Friday, state and federal authorities charged the woman who bought the guns, 24-year-old Dawn Nguyen, with lying on a form that said she would be the owner of the guns she bought for Spengler.

The charges involve the semiautomatic rifle and the 12-gauge shotgun that Spengler had with him Monday when volunteer firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were gunned down. Three other people, including two other firefighters, were wounded before the 62-year-old Spengler killed himself. He also had a .38-caliber revolver, but Nguyen is not connected to that gun, police said.

Investigators were still working Friday to confirm their belief that a body found in Spengler's burned home was that of the sister he lived with, Cheryl Spengler, 67.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul said Nguyen bought the two guns on June 6, 2010, on behalf of Spengler. Police used the serial numbers on the guns to trace them to Nguyen.

"She told the seller of these guns, Gander Mountain in Henrietta, N.Y., that she was to be the true owner and buyer of the guns instead of William Spengler," Hochul said. "It is absolutely against federal law to provide any materially false information related to the acquisition of firearms."

During an interview late on Christmas Eve, she told police she had bought the guns for personal protection and that they were stolen from her vehicle, though she never reported the guns stolen. The day after the shootings, Nguyen texted an off-duty Monroe County Sheriff's deputy with references to the killings. She later called the deputy and admitted she bought the guns for Spengler, police said Friday.

That information was consistent with a suicide note found near Spengler's body after he killed himself. The rambling, typed letter spelled out Spengler's intention to destroy his neighborhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people."

Nguyen is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 8. She declined comment Friday, and a working phone number for her lawyer could not be found.

The .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, which had a combat-style flash suppressor, is similar to the one used by the gunman who massacred 20 children and six women in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school earlier this month.

As police announced the charges against Nguyen, a clearer portrait of Spengler began to emerge, in the words of wary parole commissioners who kept him locked up until the law said they had to let him go.

At his final parole hearing in 1995, the then-45-year-old Spengler repeated his desire to get out of prison while he still had time to rebuild his life. He also took issue with a previous decision not to release him because the board believed he remained a danger to society.

"You know, the only area of confusion, the last Board, they said that I might be a danger to the community at that time," he said. "I can't figure out where in my record it shows that."

"Well, 13 shots to the head. The grandmother. You killed a 92-year-old woman. We are worried about that," a board member replied. "There might be another occasion where you lose your temper and you might repeat that behavior. That is what frightens us. That frightens us."

During four hearings between 1989 and 1995, Spengler quarreled with parole board members over details of his grandmother's killing, insisting each time he'd only hit her three times on the head with a hammer while evidence pointed to 13 blows, and initially saying he couldn't explain why the attack happened.

He told the commissioners he took care of his father's mother in her home next to his because others in the family had difficulty dealing with her, in part because she could be violent. He denied insinuations he was taking financial advantage of Rose Spengler.

The transcripts reveal a well-spoken man, proud to be staying out of trouble in prison and earning positions of trust and responsibility, even time out of prison with a work crew that did renovation work in places including a century-old chapel. The board members mention Spengler testing high for intelligence and noted he came to prison with no other crimes on his record, had only dabbled in drug use and had a spotty work history, mostly as a house painter.

On the day of the killing, he said, he planned to nail shut a basement door to prevent his grandmother from going down and endangering herself. But he said she attacked him, inadvertently kneed him in the groin, and he hit her with the hammer.

"So why do you think you killed her?" Spengler was asked in 1989.

"I still haven't figured that out. It was matter of just wanting to get out. She was between me and the door," he replied.

"She was just a little, bitty old lady," a board member commented.

"I realize that. That's why I still can't explain it," Spengler said.
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Normal Re: NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:34 pm

This is EXACTLY the problem. There are idiots that WILL purchase weapons and hand them over to convicted felons. I would bet this Dawn was paid quite well for her illegal transaction. IMO, she is just as guilty as Spengler.

And, what does it matter to the parole board how many times he hit his poor grandmother..whether it was 3 or 30 times, he killed her in cold blood. The parole board even said they were afraid he would get out and hurt someone else but they let him out anyway. This makes NO sense!!

Raine, thanks for the update.

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Normal Massive show of support for upstate firefighter murdered by sniper William Spengler Michael Chiapperini, one of two smoke-eaters killed on Christmas Eve, is mourned

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:40 pm



BY RUTH E. THALER-CARTER IN WEBSTER, N.Y AND STEPHEN REX BROWN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2012, 4:41 PM

LAUREN PETRACCA FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Webster policemen and firefighters load the casket of Michael Chiapperini onto a Webster Fire Truck after a funeral service at Webster Schroeder High School on Sunday, December 30, 2012.

It felt as if all of upstate New York — and the rest of the country — came out to honor a fallen firefighter.

Around 4,000 police officers, state troopers, firefighters and border patrol agents converged on the Rochester suburb of Webster, N.Y. Sunday for the funeral of Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 39, a long-time town police officer and volunteer smoke-eater.

The mourners included the public, as well.

County Executive Maggie Brooks, District Attorney Sandra Doorley, and Mayor Bob Duffy stand among thousands of firefighters and policemen who attended Michael Chiapperini's funeral on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at Webster Schroeder High School.

"Without our volunteer firefighters, our little town would be bad shape,” said Cathy Medina, who was holding a flag-patterned umbrella against the bitter Lake Ontario cold.

The courageous Chiapperini was one of two firefighters killed by William Spengler Jr., 62, in a ruthless ambush on first responders Christmas Eve.

Bagpipes echoed through the frigid air as Chiapperini's flag-draped coffin reached Webster Schroeder High School on a fire truck draped with purple ribbons.

Firefighter and Lieutenant Chiapperini was shot and killed after William Spengler, a Webster resident, lit his house on fire and shot at first responders on Monday, December 24, 2012.

An honor guard at the entrance to the school included representatives of distant Los Angeles County and the federal border patrol. The parade of colleagues seemed endless.

"We're here to show support for the families of the firemen and police," said Tina McKean of Scottsville, N.Y., who stood at the edge of the high school parking lot.

The funeral of 19-year-old firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka, who was also killed by Spengler, was scheduled for Monday.

Thousands of firefighters mourned Michael Chiapperini, one of two smoke-eaters killed by William Spengler on Christmas Eve. Chiapperini's funeral was Sunday in Webster, N.Y.

The sniper unleashed his calculated attack around 5:30 a.m. by setting his home by Lake Ontario on fire. Armed with an AR-15 Bushmaster assault rifle, Spengler fired on the cops and firefighters arriving on the scene. Three others were also injured.

The gun was the same type used in the Newtown elementary school massacre on Dec. 14.

The somber ceremony came as USA Today reported that Spengler may have snapped after learning that his sister planned to sell their waterfront home.

In 1981, Spengler pleaded guilty to killing his grandmother with a hammer.

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Normal Re: NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:41 pm

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Normal Planned sale of sniper William Spengler's Webster, N.Y., home may have triggered his killing spree

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:55 pm

The 62-year-old gunman left no clear motive in his 'suicide note,' police said. But a real estate agent working with his sister says she was planning to sell the Lake Road home. The siblings didn't get along, and Cheryl Spengler likely perished in the fire that her brother started. Two firefighters also died.

BY ERIK ORTIZ / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2012, 5:48 PM

The forthcoming sale of the family home where crazed Webster gunman William Spengler Jr. lived with his sister may have triggered the horrific Christmas Eve ambush that left two firefighters dead.

Spengler Jr., a convicted felon, left a rambling suicide note but no clear motive for why he apparently torched his upstate New York house, luring firefighters to the scene before gunning them down and killing himself in the pre-dawn attack.

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A body found in the remains has not been identified, but is believed to be that of his sister, Cheryl Spengler.

Realtor Laura LaManna of Nothnagle Realtors told the Daily News that Cheryl had just closed on a new home in nearby Henrietta and was gearing up to sell the Lake Road house where the siblings grew up.

Spengler Jr., 62, was reportedly feuding with his sister, and the situation was especially tense after their mother died in October.

“They didn’t get along at all, and that’s why (Cheryl) was moving,” LaManna said.

The planned sale of their childhood home may have pushed Spengler over the edge, law enforcement officials told the Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.).

Spengler’s handwritten note did tip off authorities to how he obtained the semiautomatic rifle and the 12-gauge shotgun he had with him on Dec. 24.

William Spengler Jr. may have been pushed over the edge by his sister's plan to sell the home they shared. She reportedly planned to sell the house because they had a tumultuous relationship.

Spengler was previously in prison for 17 years in the death of his 92-year-old grandmother, who was bludgeoned with a hammer, and should never have had access to firearms.

A neighbor, 24-year-old Dawn Nguyen, allegedly purchased the guns for him. Authorities charged her on Friday with lying on a form that said she would own the weapons.

Police used the serial numbers on the guns to trace them back to Nguyen, officials said.

The semiautomatic rifle used by Spengler is similar to the one that a 20-year-old gunman fired off to massacre 26 people at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

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Normal Re: NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:03 am

William Spengler fired two rounds from handgun

Jan 18, 2013
Written by
Gary Craig
Staff writer

William Spengler Jr., the killer of two volunteer firefighters on Christmas Eve morning, fired two rounds from his .38 handgun — one to kill himself.

The mystery of the second shot has added to suspicions that Spengler killed his sister, Cheryl, before engaging in the gun battle that left the two firefighters dead and two others injured.

According to law enforcement sources close to the case, two rounds were discharged from a .38 Smith & Wesson found alongside Spengler’s corpse on Dec. 24.

Spengler used one shot to commit suicide. There is no evidence that he fired another round from the .38 while shooting at the firefighters responding to the blaze at the house.

Law enforcement officials stress that charred remains found inside Spengler’s torched home at 191 Lake Road have yet to be identified, nor a cause of death determined. But they suspect that the remains are those of Cheryl Spengler, the 67-year-old sister of William Spengler.

The county Medical Examiner’s Office “is awaiting the results of the DNA comparison and ... a positive ID has yet to be determined,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Cpl. John Helfer, said in an email.

Neighbors of the Spenglers say the brother and sister had a troubled relationship, rarely speaking while living under the same roof.

Police found three weapons — the .38-caliber handgun, a shotgun, and an AR-15 semi-automatic — next to Spengler’s body. Spengler wielded the AR-15 when firing at the first responders, police say.

Spengler, a convicted felon, could not legally own a firearm. Spengler served 17 years for killing his grandmother in 1980.

Killed on Dec. 24 were West Webster Fire Department volunteers Tomasz Kaczowka and Michael Chiapperini.

Authorities later discovered a body inside the Lake Road home. Cheryl Spengler has not been seen, leading to beliefs that she, too, was a victim of her brother’s murderous spree.

The condition of the body has made identification difficult. There are three common routes to identification — fingerprints, dental records, or a DNA genetic match.

The condition of the body has likely left DNA as the only identification possibility. If officials have no other source for a DNA match for Cheryl Spengler, officials may have to use genetic material from her brother.

William Spengler’s DNA is not in the state’s database because he committed his crime in 1980, well before DNA was taken from offenders.

Officials have not released how they would conduct a DNA identification for the remains.

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Normal Woman indicted over guns in N.Y. firefighter ambush

Post by raine1953 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:17 am

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A 24-year-old New York woman was indicted Thursday on federal charges in connection with guns used by a former neighbor in the Christmas Eve shooting of four volunteer firefighters in Webster, N.Y.

A federal grand jury indicted Dawn Nguyen on three counts: knowingly making a false statement in connection with a firearm purchase; providing guns to William Spengler Jr., a felon; and possessing guns while illegally using marijuana.

Nguyen bought a shotgun and semiautomatic rifle from Gander Mountain, an outdoors store, in Henrietta, N.Y., south of Rochester in 2010, when she was neighbors with Spengler on Lake Road in Webster.

Nguyen allegedly admitted that Spengler helped her pick out the guns, which she claimed in an interview with investigators were later stolen, court papers say.

As a convicted felon, Spengler was banned from owning guns. He served 17 years in state prison for killing his grandmother with a hammer in 1980. Nguyen lived next door to Spengler for about five years, in the house where he killed his grandmother.

Spengler had the guns with him Dec. 24 when he ignited an inferno and ambushed first responders, killing two West Webster firefighters and injuring two others before killing himself. His sister, Cheryl Spengler, is also presumed to have been killed, but police have not yet identified the body found in the burned Spengler house.

Each of the three charges against Nguyen carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

While a judge could sentence Nguyen to maximum penalties if she were convicted, federal sentences typically rely on advisory sentencing guidelines, which consider criteria such as the offense and a person's past criminal conduct.

In turn, sentences are often less -- and sometimes significantly so -- than the possible maximums.

Nguyen's lawyer, Matthew Parrinello, said Thursday that he is still waiting for more documentation from federal prosecutors.

"Hopefully this will lead to some more meaningful discovery so we can find out what, if any, additional information the government has and then respond a little more in detail to the charges in the indictment," he said.

Parrinello said he "wasn't totally aware of" the marijuana charge, which had not previously been disclosed.

"We're intrigued by that charge as far as what evidence they have," he said. "I'm not sure where they get that from."

U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr. said in a news release that the case would proceed "as expeditiously as possible." Nguyen's next scheduled federal court date is April 1, but she probably will be arraigned Monday morning.

The Monroe County (N.Y.) District Attorney's Office intends to present similar state charges to a grand jury.

The Nguyen case has been cited by legislators attempting to enact stricter penalties against "straw purchasers" who knowingly buy guns for people not allowed to have them, such as Spengler.

One of the men shot Christmas Eve, firefighter Ted Scardino, testified at a forum in Washington, D.C., this week, encouraging Congress to pass a law that would give 25 years in prison to people who make straw purchases when they have reason to suspect the recipient intends to commit a violent crime.

In the Nguyen case, Hochul said, "there is no allegation (she) was aware that William Spengler would kill two first responders and seriously injure two others. ... (But) this case should serve as a warning to any individual who attempts to facilitate the actions of a criminal."

Nguyen, who now lives in Greece, N.Y., remains free on her own recognizance.
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Normal Re: NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:20 am

GOOD!!!!

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Normal Dawn Nguyen returns from out of state

Post by raine1953 on Fri May 24, 2013 4:47 pm

Dawn Nguyen, accused of providing firearms to the gunman in Webster’s Christmas Eve slayings, returned from South Carolina without incident after being allowed to travel by a magistrate judge.

Her attorney, John Parrinello, said Nguyen followed all of the requirements for travel, including meeting with a probation officer in South Carolina where Nguyen attended a relative’s wedding over the weekend.

Nguyen is awaiting trials in federal and state courts on charges that she lied when, in 2010, she bought a shotgun and rifle from Gander Mountain in Henrietta. Nguyen claimed the guns were for her, but she instead gave them to her Webster neighbor William Spengler Jr., authorities allege.

Spengler had the guns when he set his home on fire and ambushed responding volunteer firefighters.

Spengler fatally shot two firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, then killed himself.

A body found in the charred remains of his home has not been positively identified but is suspected to be Spengler’s sister, Cheryl.
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Normal Dawn Nguyen trial to begin

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:59 am

Gary Craig, Staff writer 12:16 a.m. EDT March 29, 2014

On June 20, 2010, Dawn Nguyen allegedly walked to the counter at the Gander Mountain sporting goods store in Henrietta and bought a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and a Bushmaster .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle.

She paid $999.99 for the Bushmaster — a $200 discount — and an additional $319.99 for the shotgun, according to a receipt.

Two-and-a-half years later, on Christmas Eve, Nguyen’s neighbor, William Spengler Jr., used the weapons in his deadly assault on volunteer firefighters who were responding to a blaze on Lake Road in Webster. Spengler started the fire by setting his car ablaze, and then waited to ambush the firefighters.

Spengler fatally shot two West Webster Fire Department volunteer firefighters: Michael Chiapperini, a 43-year-old lieutenant with the Webster Police Department, and 19-year-old Tomasz Kaczowka, a 911 emergency dispatcher. He wounded two others.

Now, this week, Dawn Nguyen — a Greece woman who made her living largely as a poker dealer and poker player — will go on trial in state Supreme Court for the purchase of the firearms.

At its core, the allegation is a white-collar crime — a single felony count of first-degree falsification of a business record. She is accused of lying on a form she filled out for the gun purchase. Authorities allege that she claimed the guns were for her, when instead she bought them for Spengler.

If convicted, her sentence could range from no jail time to a maximum of four years.

“We’re not trying the West Webster shooting,” said Nguyen’s attorney, Matthew Parrinello. “We know the prosecution is going to try to bring in as much of the West Webster shooting as they can. And we’re going to try to keep out as much of the West Webster shooting as we can.

“It’s really not pertinent to our case,” Parrinello said.

But separating the allegations surrounding the 2010 firearms purchase and the 2013 mayhem that followed could be difficult.

As court records and interviews bear out, the fire and fatal shootings will be part of the testimony. Investigators will likely testify about the recovery of the guns, found beside Spengler after he fatally shot himself with a handgun, and the subsequent interview with Nguyen, who was questioned the same day of the slayings and allegedly admitted making the purchase.

Nguyen and her mother, Dawn Welsher, lived next door to Spengler on Lake Road in Webster in 2010. Spengler was with Nguyen when she bought the guns, authorities allege.

Spengler, a convicted felon who beat his grandmother to death with a hammer in 1980, could not legally own firearms. He spent 17 years in prison for the killing.

The evidence

The evidence against Nguyen is the federal firearms document she filled out at Gander Mountain, her interviews with investigators, and testimony from former friends and others who allege that she admitted the guns were bought for Spengler.

One of those friends, Florida resident Nichole Springer, said Nguyen told her in 2010 that she bought the guns for Spengler. Earlier that year, Springer said in a telephone interview, Nguyen mentioned that her neighbor Spengler had been imprisoned for the killing of his grandmother.

Springer said she was shocked when Nguyen said she was buying guns for Spengler.

“He’s a convicted felon, a murderer,” Springer said.

Springer was jailed as a “material witness” for two days last year — one day in Florida and another in Rochester after a transport here — when authorities wanted her to testify before a grand jury and were unsure whether she would appear. The law allows the holding of material witnesses who authorities suspect might not testify.

Springer said she did not pay immediate attention to requests for testimony last year because she was mourning the fatal shooting of her boyfriend in Florida, and the funeral coincided with the dates she was wanted here for testimony.

No one has been arrested for her boyfriend’s killing.

“Just like everybody else that was drug into this, I wanted nothing to do with this,” Springer said of the case against Nguyen. “ ... But two lives were lost (at Webster) who were just there to help. Like the case with my boyfriend, everybody wants justice.”

Another witness is expected to be Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Vincent Petralis, who played poker with Nguyen. Nguyen allegedly contacted him on Christmas Eve 2012 after learning that Spengler had killed the two firefighters.

Petralis testified at a pretrial hearing that he received a text from Nguyen’s phone, saying, “yes, I was the one who I believe purchased the weapons that he used to kill those people.”

The witnesses against Nguyen are unreliable and, in some cases, have an animus toward her, Parrinello said.

“Their case relies heavily on civilian witnesses that have checkered pasts, that have a reason to come in and testify against her,” he said. “ ... No civilian witness comes in with clean hands.”

Court papers allege that in a Dec. 24, 2012, interview with State Police Investigator Thomas Crowley, Nguyen said that Spengler chose the weapons she bought at Gander Mountain.

“Nguyen stated she purchased the firearms for personal protection and that they had since been stolen from her vehicle,” court papers allege. “The firearms, however, were never reported as stolen.”

A letter left by Spengler the day of the shooting was obtained last year by the Democrat and Chronicle and incriminates Welsher — Nguyen’s mother — in the gun purchase. Spengler claimed in the letter, found in a plastic sleeve nailed to a fence near his home, that he enlisted Welsher to buy the guns and she sent Nguyen.

“I got the Bushmaster and Mossberg cruiser from her for cost plus $1000.00,” Spengler wrote. “But heres where it gets tricky, she sent her daughter to get them because she doesn't like to leave a paper trail. ... So the dummy will take the heat for the weapons while the person who set it up and made the profit skates, if you let it go that way.”

Welsher last year declined to comment on the letter. She was questioned by police but has not been charged with a crime. No other evidence has been aired that connects her to the purchase.

Parrinello said he was unsure whether the claims made in Spengler’s letter would be aired at trial.

“We’ll have to play that by ear, whether that can come in at the time of trial,” he said.

Nguyen, who is also facing federal charges for the purchase, has been free with some restrictions awaiting trial. No date has been set for the federal trial. If convicted there, her penalties could be more severe than with a state conviction.

Nguyen’s attorneys have said she is sorrowful about Spengler’s actions.

She dropped out of the State University College at Geneseo about a month after the killings. Her travel is restricted to the western New York region.

Records show she won a tournament at Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel at Niagara Falls in August. Her winnings were $8,687.

According to court records, a federal magistrate judge recently allowed Nguyen to travel to central New York to visit family and to look at possible employment opportunities. She once requested permission to play poker at Turning Stone Casino, but federal authorities opposed the travel and a magistrate judge prohibited it.

Media coverage

In 1984, local attorneys John Speranza and Felix Lapine represented two mob bodyguards — Tom Taylor and Tom Torpey — accused of hiring a hit man for a organized crime killing.

For months before trial the newspapers and television stations had stories about the case nearly daily, Speranza said. The questioning of prospective jurors — known as “voir dire” — took eight weeks, Speranza said.

“There was far more media saturation by comparison than this case,” Speranza said of the Nguyen trial.

Still, Speranza said, it’s unlikely prospective jurors will come to the Nguyen trial without knowledge of the West Webster killings.

“It’s basically a falsified business records case with the overlay of the firefighters and the murders,” said Speranza, who is not involved in the Nguyen case. “The whole point of voir dire is noting this is just a case of allegedly filling out a form to buy a gun improperly and buying a gun. ... You want to get a jury whose opinion hasn’t been clouded by the fire department’s loss.”

Separating the gun purchase from the killings is important, Parrinello said.

“Obviously a majority of the people (in a jury pool), if not all, have heard about the West Webster shootings,” he said, “They haven’t heard about our case. Our case happened 931 days prior to the West Webster shootings.

“The case is really regarding a piece of paper that was filled out on June 10, 2010,” Parrinello said.

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Normal Judge refuses to dismiss charge against Nguyen.

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:44 am

Dawn Nguyen's trial is scheduled to start Wednesday.

Gary Craig, Staff writer 10:41 p.m. EDT March 31, 2014

A state Supreme Court justice Monday refused to dismiss a criminal charge against Dawn Nguyen, who is accused of buying the firearms that William Spengler Jr. used in the Christmas Eve 2012 fatal shootings in Webster.

State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Moran rejected multiple challenges to the indictment against Nguyen, who is charged with falsifying a business record.

Jury selection is expected to start Wednesday in the trial.

Prosecutors allege that Nguyen lied on a federal firearms transaction in June 2010 when she did not reveal that she was purchasing a semiautomatic rifle and shotgun for Spengler.

On Dec. 24, 2012, Spengler fatally shot two West Webster Fire Department volunteer firefighters: Michael Chiapperini, a 43-year-old lieutenant with the Webster Police Department, and 19-year-old Tomasz Kaczowka, a 911 emergency dispatcher.

He wounded two others. The remains of Spengler's sister, Cheryl, who also was fatally shot, were found in the ashes of the Spenglers' home, which was set afire by William Spengler.

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Normal Re: NY Firefighters Ambushed after answering a house fire call,2 dead, Webster Police Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43 a volunteer firefighter & Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, 2 injured/Gunman William Spengler, 62 found dead/Dawn Nguyen arrested for purchasing guns.

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:07 am

I think she should go to trial on these charges. She should have been smart enough to know that it was wrong to buy weapons for Spengler, to know that him owning these guns was bound to turn out badly, that she too could have easily been one of his victims.

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