Monday, December 24, 2012

Two more gun deaths: Two Rochester-area Firefighters Shot and Killed

Two Rochester-area Firefighters Shot and Killed
Webster, N.Y. - Two firefighters were shot and killed during a call to a fire on Bay Road in Webster, N.Y., which is located in Monroe County northeast of Rochester on Lake Ontario. Two other firefighters were also shot, and at this point, have survived. 
Report from CNN:
(CNN) -- At least two firefighters died when they were shot at the scene of a blaze in upstate New York on Monday, police said. 
Two other firefighters were injured, police in Webster, New York, told reporters.
Authorities believe one or more shooters took aim at the firefighters after they left their vehicles, Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. 
It was unclear whether there were any suspects. 
"We have different individuals that were possible people with knowledge, but at this point I can't really comment," Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn told reporters.
For hours, the gunfire stopped firefighters from working to extinguish the fire and forced police SWAT teams to evacuate homes in the area. 
Firefighters first arrived before 6 a.m., said Rob Boutillier, Webster's fire marshal. By 9 a.m., flames had engulfed three houses and a vehicle, he said. 
"It's still an active crime scene," Pickering said. "We have firefighters there at the location. It took a while to make it safe ... to put out the fires." 
Doctors were treating the wounded firefighters Monday morning, said Teri D'Agostino, a spokeswoman for Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. They were in guarded condition, she said. 
One firefighter escaped from the scene in his own vehicle about an hour after he was shot, then was taken to the hospital by an ambulance from another location, Boutillier said. He was listed in satisfactory condition, Boutillier said. 
Another wounded firefighter was conscious and speaking when he was removed from the scene, Boutillier said.

Names of the victims: "One of the deceased, Michael J. Chiapperini, was a police lieutenant in the Webster Police Department; the other, Tomasz Kaczowka, was a 911 dispatcher for Monroe County."

The injured: "John Ritter, an off-duty police officer from Greece, N.Y., who happened to be driving by and stopped to help, suffered shrapnel wounds from the shooting, Chief Pickering added. The firefighters who were injured, both volunteers, were identified as Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino."

The murderer: "Webster Police Chief Gerald L. Pickering tells reporters that the gunman — found dead at the scene from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound — was 62-year-old William Spengler. Pickering says Spengler was convicted of the 1980 murder of his grandmother, was imprisoned in 1981 and was paroled in 1998."

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