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.

FULL STORY
soundoff (467 Responses)
  1. ruben

    i wonder what all the knuckle-dragging trailer trash NRA members have to say about this one

    December 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • PhilG

      "knuckle dragging,trailer trash NRA members"

      Would you listen if they said something?

      December 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Probably "pass me a Bud Light"

      December 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Trotodendron

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

    Sounds like a typical conservative to me.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • settino

      sorry for the brave firemen

      December 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • G_Edwards

      Seriously? You hate your fellow Americans so much that you'd say such an absurd thing?

      December 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clarke

      Oh please stop with the stero type. This man was a very sick evil soul that is all he was.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim mcgrady

      well said!

      December 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Wanda

    They say that they are trying to figure out this evil man's motive for the killings and the fire. They say that he left a note saying he will set a fire and kill as many people as he can, for it's what he likes to do best. So seems like a motive to me.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • motive

      with mental illness, motives are useless.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. .

    Liberals send their kids to schools with armed guards but your kids just aren't that important.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clarke

      Get over the liberal/conservative stuff, it is older than dirt.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • motive

      Thank you for your posts, Clark. Maybe it's time we looked at the root cause. Behind nearly every crime is a once child who was traumatized and never woke from the trauma.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jokka

    Either everyone has guns or no one has guns. Problem with everyone having guns are the borderline or trigger happy people who shoot first and think later. Unless everyone constantly has their hand on the trigger, they still will be too late because you never know when the bad guys are going to shoot first...even a half second reaction time is too late. Another problem is that criminals can get their hands on even bigger weapons if there are no limits. How are you going to face off a bazooka being fired at your house? Are you going to one up them and get tank? Just like nuclear weapons, it is better for the world to have less than more.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. bewildered

    So my comment didn't make the cut...somehow I knew that would happen. Which is why I never post anything on these so-called open forums...and will never attempt such foolishness again...free speech is only allowed when it inflames or incites. Peace speech or intelligent speak is not permitted. Got it THanks

    December 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • bewildered

      point proven, btw I didn't mean disrespect to anyone...in particular – just the whole thing in general. Peace

      December 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Benlinus

    He may have been mentally ill, may be he had a tragic reason for doing what he did; none the less I'm glad he did the world a favor taking him self out after reading that note (good riddance).

    December 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. The Realist

    What happened to the death penalty?
    He brutally killed his grandmother. If he had been sentenced to death, then this day would never have happened.
    However, according to the Liberals, he is a "victim of society" and should be cared for and rehabilitated – yea right!
    I feel incredible sadness for the firemen's families at Christmas.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. caesarbc

    How do we know that this is not Al Q setting an old man up, just to perpetuate the hatred and vitriol between right and left(?).

    December 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. EVN

    The pot heads are locked up and the crazies got the guns. Pretty screwed up but it's not going to chance. The DEA, the NRA, and the spineless politicians should take a bow and be proud of their work.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Hooligan

    Somebody Turn on the Bat Signal.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Dan

    You can blame those firefighter's deaths on the state of NY. He should have never been let out or prison or been executed.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Killing isn't a "White or Black" thing, it's an evil thing and this SOB is just evil plus he was a coward of the worst kind.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hooligan

      Evil is an abstract.

      The dude is loopy.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clarke

      Agreed

      December 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. what if laws meant something

    If murder is a crime and we would execute immediately following trial rather than wait for all the legal retrials and politics. Then our laws would mean something. Instead a man put in prison has not only his rights as a citizen and those of a person who is a prisoner of the state. I do not mean private executions, but lets us do it so everyone sees the punishment. Let's put the gallows on the courthouse steps where those who are thinking about a crime, will think twice as well. If you don't want to see the punishment don't look. Let's put the meaning back into our laws, if you break them then pay the price, not a fancy lawyer to get you out of them.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Charr

    We all harbor the thouhts of killing if we own guns knives ....or not so it would be fare to say we are all mentialy defective just far are you willing to push ynvr self to brink of killing others-we are uncle san.s misguided childern-u.s.m.c

    December 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.