Two volunteer firefighters have been shot dead and two others left wounded after they were ambushed by a lone gunman at a blaze apparently set as a trap in New York state.
Lieutenant Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were killed when 62-year-old William Spangler opened fire at emergency responders arriving at the scene of a house fire, shortly before 6:00 am local time on Monday in the suburb of Rochester.
“This is still an active investigation, but I will say at first blush that it appears that it was a trap, that there was a car in a house that it was engulfed in flames, probably set by Mr Spangler, who later waited and shot the first responders,” said Webster police chief Gerald Pickering.
Spangler had spent 17 years in prison after killing his grandmother in 1981. He may have stolen the guns used in the shooting, said police.
“We have to keep in mind that Spangler was a convicted felon,” said Chief Pickering.
“So he is not allowed to possess weapons, so, did he legally possess these weapons? No, but we had all kinds of weapons larcenies, both in town and around the county, and in Wayne County as of late, so I don’t know where those weapons came from, but we are certainly going to find out.”
Spangler shot himself after attacking the firefighting crew, said police. He died on the scene…
The two wounded firefighters, Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino, were listed in guarded condition at a local hospital…
The gunman…left behind a note outlining his “clear intent” to burn his neighborhood to the ground and “do what I like doing best, killing people,” police said on Tuesday.
OK. So, we have yet another demented killer. There isn’t any shortage of those in our land, part of our culture. Extra emphasis on the culture part – because some of these nutball killings we’ve experienced recently have an occasional copycat aspect. The commonality is that weapons like the Bushmaster are in the wild legally. Whether killers acquire them legally or illegally is only part of the question.
What is important that clowns like LaPierre, the head of the NRA gun manufacturers lobby, will offer the same tired suggestion for “curing” the problem of too many guns in the hands of too many maniacs. Obviously, we should require all first responders – including fire department personnel and EMTs – to carry firearms. Dimwit. Not the kind of hair-trigger fool I ever would invite along for a day’s hunting.