December 25th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

Shooter that lured firefighters left note: Killing is what I do best

The shooter who ambushed and killed two upstate New York firefighters Monday left a note behind indicating his intentions, police said Tuesday.

"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," the 3-page typewritten note said.

New York town's 'Firefighter of the Year' shot dead responding to blaze

Authorities haven't given a motive for the latest violence, which left two firefighters dead and two other firefighters and an off-duty police officer from a nearby town wounded after they responded to the call of a fire.

And they can't ask the shooter, who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head around 11 a.m., about six hours after first calls about the fire came in.

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.

N.Y. man who shot dead 2 firefighters killed grandmother in 1980

"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."

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."

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.

December 25th, 2012
11:44 AM ET

Tuesday's live events

The staff at Live would like to wish all of our viewers and fans a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Today's programming highlights...

4:00 pm ET - Firefighter shootings briefing - Officials in Webster, New York, will discuss the fatal shootings of two firefighters who were responding to a structure blaze. Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.


Filed under: On today
December 25th, 2012
10:03 AM ET

Gunmen kill 6 in attack on church in Nigeria

Gunmen in northern Nigeria attacked a church's Christmas Eve services, killing six people and setting the building on fire, police said.

A pastor was slain in the incident, police said.

It was the latest strike against Christians in the region. More than 30 people died in a wave of Christmas Day attacks in the north last year, blamed on Boko Haram, a militant group that has targeted Christians and Muslims it considered insufficiently Islamist.

"Suspected members of the group have bombed or opened fire on worshipers in at least 18 churches across eight northern and central states since 2010. In Maiduguri, the group also forced Christian men to convert to Islam on penalty of death," Human Rights Watch said in an October report.

It is not immediately known if the group was behind the latest attack.

December 25th, 2012
09:10 AM ET

21 vehicles in accident on interstate in Oklahoma

[Updated at 9:10 a.m. ET] Interstate 40 westbound has now been opened after it was shut following a 21-vehicle accident at  2:50 a.m. CT (3:50 ET).

[Posted at 7:51 a.m. ET] An interstate has been shut down for two miles this morning in a suburb of Oklahoma City after more than 20 vehicles crashed in an accident that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says likely was caused by freezing rain.

The chain-reaction-style accident occurred on Interstate 40 westbound in Del City, Oklahoma, and involved 21 vehicles, including three big rigs, Oklahoma Highway Patrol dispatcher Kerri Markey told CNN. The accident took place at 2:50 a.m. CT (3:50 ET).

Markey said an unknown number of people have been transported to a hospital with injuries characterized as not life-threatening.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said they do not know when the highway will reopen.

December 25th, 2012
02:41 AM ET

Christmas tornadoes, snow possible as weather system moves east

A large, powerful storm system threatened to bring a white Christmas to parts of the Great Plains and dangerous tornadoes to the Southeast, forecasters said.

A winter storm warning is in effect through at least midnight Tuesday for much of Oklahoma and Arkansas and parts of southern Missouri. By the time the storm is through, these areas could have between 4 to 6 inches of sleet and snow.

But precipitation is just part of the concern. The same system could produce relatively long-lasting tornadoes not normally seen this time of year, the National Weather Service notes in its severe weather outlook.

A moderate chance of severe weather is forecast from southeast Texas to portions of the Florida panhandle, according to forecasters. The threat of severe storms may reach as far east as parts of Alabama, southeast Tennessee and western Georgia by Tuesday evening and could reach coastal South Carolina by early Wednesday, the weather agency said.


Filed under: U.S. • Weather
December 25th, 2012
02:39 AM ET

Police continue crackdown amid outrage over gang rape

Police continued to block off a key government district in India Tuesday in an effort to stop protesters angered about the gang rape of a woman.

Furious weekend demonstrations rocked the Raisina Hills section of New Delhi as public outrage surged. The protests started after a 23-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and beaten to near death on a bus on December 16 by a group of six suspects, now under arrest, police say.

The security barriers throughout the Raisina Hills area, home to the presidential mansion, the parliament building and federal ministerial blocks, did not stop protests in other areas Monday.

Scores of young students held demonstrations at the Jantar Mantar observatory, a regular protest site, some distance from the restricted area in New Delhi.

Many demanded immediate convening of a special session of parliament to amend laws to make rape a crime punishable with death.


Filed under: Crime • World