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Ex-con Ambushed, Killed 2 Firefighters

December 25, 2012  | 

An ex-con killed two firefighters with the same caliber and make military-style rifle used in the Connecticut school massacre after typing a note pledging to burn down his neighborhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people," police said Tuesday as another body, believed to be the gunman's missing sister, was found.

William Spengler, 62, who served 17 years in prison for manslaughter in the 1980 hammer slaying of his grandmother, set his house afire before dawn Christmas Eve before taking a revolver, a shotgun and a Bushmaster .223-caliber, semiautomatic rifle to a sniper position outside, Webster (N.Y) Police Chief Gerald Pickering said.

Among those killed were volunteer firefighter and police Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 43, who was killed by gunfire as the windshield before him was shattered. Also killed was Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, who worked as a 911 dispatcher.

Read the full Associated Press story.

Comments (14)

Displaying 1 - 14 of 14

marshal @ 12/26/2012 8:39 AM

This is a terrible incident. When is this country going to wake up and realize that more gun laws is not the answer. Make a database where mentally ill people are entered in and when they attempt to buy a gun their name is red flagged. Right now there is a check box and who is going to check yes? Redefine the HIPPA laws to allow this and to allow police to be able to get a name from a hospital or find out when a wanted or dangerous person is released. As of right now, at least our hospitals, will not tell us when a dangerous person is released. They can't even tell us if the person has a dangerous disease so we can take precautions. Make the suicidal and homicidal people register like we do with sex offenders. This guy should no have been released but since he was he should have to register as a dangerous person. Have the judges actually enforce the laws we have now and give them less discretion on what they can do and change the HIPPA laws and some other laws to help us do our jobs. My heart goes out to the families and coworkers of these two firefighers.

Tom Ret @ 12/26/2012 1:34 PM

Being concerned about violating current gun laws was the furthest thing from this guy's mind . To think that all we need is more gun laws to deter this type of individual is delusional.

W. Campbell @ 12/27/2012 1:30 PM

Here's my question: why is a murder who killed his GRANDMOTHER with a HAMMER not still rotting in prision (or executed) where he should be?

RICHARD ISAACS @ 12/27/2012 5:14 PM


DaveSAM5525G @ 12/27/2012 10:02 PM

I have to be totally honest - In America - we have a word for this type Action (COWARD)!!!

Dan @ 12/27/2012 10:20 PM


I'm a little unclear. You call for a database of the mentally ill and say if they try to buy a gun they would be red flagged. What happens next? Will they still be allowed to purchase the gun or would we just tattoo a bar code their neck so I can just scan them to see how crazy they are? :) Obviously extremely i know. I'm afraid to tell you the former is called gun control. The latter usurps the most basic right of privacy which far exceeds the 2nd amendment.

We need solutions which include gun control and mental health research and treatment. But the type of oversight you speak of is a steeper slope than guns.


Possibly not the model but the type of gun used most certainly matters. If he was up there mowing people down with an m60 or lobbing grenades you wouldn't say that. You'd be saying, "how the hell they gets them grenades?!"

The most recent menaces without criminal histories have obtained their weapons legally! The criminals have obtained them on the overcrowded black market. There is nothing wrong with regulating so called "assault rifles" as heavily and as expensively as we do fully automatic weapons. The AR market is overcrowded and cheap. It is time to change that with more similar regulation and lofty taxes. That certainly isn't the end, but its a start.

paul @ 12/27/2012 11:50 PM

You are exactly right. I live in Webster and know 1st hand of this incident. We should regulate assault rifles same as handguns in NY, not just a check box on a form. Those attempting should be charged as commiting perjury and arrested. This nut should never have been loose from his orignal
murder charge! Plea bargaining allowed this to happen. My close friend was lost because of this, and only because he was a fireman. Tthe murderer didnt know he was a cop too..

Paul @ 12/28/2012 12:01 AM

Marshal is right also- Change he HIPPA laws so they MUST, (not may as it is now) release info to Law enforcement for any criminal investigation upon demand. Mostly court orders take too much time. Legislators need to give cops the tools to be able to find and prosecute these law breakers before more die. There are way too many mentally ill (and violent) people out loose in our society.

John @ 12/28/2012 2:08 AM

I'm both very pro privacy and pro gun. Unfortunately, we have very little privacy in this country. If we did, why would an applicant for a fishing license or a pre paid credit card be required to provide their s.s.n.?

Legislators should explore listing a few mental disorders as being disqualifers in purchasing firearms. Is it a good idea to allow people to purchase firearms who suffer from schizophrenia, bi polar disorder, or who are delusional? Also, people who live with young children and the mentally ill should be required to keep any firearms locked in a safe. Although, a loaded firearm (safe stored) or two should be allowed for home defefense.

Gun grabs are both unconstitutional and ineffective. Norway's firearm laws are very restrictive. Did it stop Andre Breivik from killing over 80 people who were on an island?

W. Campbell @ 12/28/2012 4:04 AM

This douchebag killed his grandmother with a hammer and was let out. This issue is not types of guns or gun laws, it is our weak judges and broken system. Judges hand out weak sentences, parole boards let criminals free. We already have too many laws and they're not really enforced. I've seen leftist judges hand out probation for so many convictions, it's insane.

There are millions of semi-auto rifles and 10's of millions if not 100's of millions of hi-cap mags out there. So good luck with regulating them. Gun control of any kind is for the stupid and weak. You cannot put the toothpast back in the tube. You cannot roll back technology. Catch or kill the bad guys, that's all you can do.

Kevin @ 12/28/2012 5:56 AM

My thoughts and prayers to the families of my fallen brothers in Webster.

-Volunteer FF/EMT, Hutto, TX

Dan @ 12/28/2012 7:33 AM


So you have the right to protect yourself but someone with treatable bi-polar disease doesn't? If through regulation, you restrict firearm access for those who are mentally ill, that is still called GUN CONTROL! You just don't like it when it is applied to you.

How would you enforce gun safe requirements? More legislation? GUN CONTROL. Ridiculous.

@paul and @campbell

Although I'm just as upset with you over the bullshit plea deal system, it's not the root problem either. Judges, prosecutors, and parole boards are under pressure to unsure the prison population doesn't explode. We as a society need to come to terms with what exactly we are willing to pay to incarcerate people for.

Steve @ 12/28/2012 3:25 PM

In Australia we banned semi-Auto weapons, banned pump action shotguns, restrict handguns, have police and M/H checks but none of this has stopped a determined individual from killing. Sydney has shootings almost on a daily basis and nothing can be done to stop them, illegal firearms are available, legal firearms are stolen, criminals will always find their means. Harsher penalties that are enforced are needed, not more gun control by goverments. Maximum penalties for firearm offences are rarely implimented (if at all) in Australia. Seems the Courts are scared to use their authority - remember the criminal is the victim (bullshit).

Steve Gaines @ 1/5/2013 8:43 PM

Sooooo where is the noboma government calling for an outright ban on "ASSAULT HAMMERS"??????? Was this a high capacity hammer? His hammer killed more people than every one of my firearms and "high capacity" (as to FULL CAPACITY) magazines COMBINED, which is exactly 0!!!!!

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